Fake photos & videos of Rohingya torture swarm social media
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Fake photos & videos of Rohingya torture swarm social media

A swarm of misleading photos and videos that are claimed to be of the torture and brutality being faced by the Rohingya Muslims have gone viral on social media.

Even photos of Rwandan children are being shared as Muslims in Rakhine, while some have posted photos of Bangladeshi freedom fighters, describing them as insurgents helping the Rohingya.

Among those misled by the posts with false information is Mehmet Simsek, deputy prime minister of Turkey.

The BBC in a report said the first of the four photographs shared by Simsek on Twitter, showing a number of bloated corpses, was the hardest to track down.
Some Myanmar people suggested the photo is of victims of a storm in May 2008, while some others suggested they are victims of river boat accidents in Myanmar.

But the appearance of the image on several websites dated last year suggests it is not from the recent violence in Rakhine state.

The second photograph, of a woman mourning a dead man tied to a tree, was taken in Aceh of Indonesia, in June 2003, by a photographer working for Reuters, according to the BBC.

The third photograph of two infants crying over the body of their mother is from Rwanda in July 1994. The photographer, Albert Facelly for Sipa, won a World Press Award for this photo in a series.

It was also difficult for the BBC to track down the fourth image, of people immersed in a canal, but it can be found on a website appealing for funds to help victims of recent flooding in Nepal. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Simsek deleted the tweet three days later, saying, “Correction: My earlier twit regretfully included pics that wrongfully depicted massacre taking place in #Rohingya against #Muslims by error.”

The photo of Bangladeshi freedom fighters shared on the Twitter contains the words: “Bengali extremist terrorists fighting to Myanmar citizen.”

A user who shared the photo also wrote: “There is no Rohingya in Myanmar country. They are terrorists only.”

Despite the misleading images, the fact is that nearly 400 people, including at least 12 members of Myanmar security forces, have died in fighting since attacks on security posts and an army base in Rakhine by Rohingya insurgents on Aug 25.
The dead people include civilians, Myanmar authorities said.

Since the attacks, over 68,000 Rohingyas fleeing crackdown by Myanmar Army have entered Bangladesh, according to the UN.

At least 53 bodies, purportedly victims of capsize of boats packed with the fleeing Rohingya families, washed up on the Bangladesh shore in five days.

Three Rohingyas, including a couple, died in Bangladesh after being shot in Myanmar.

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