A disturbing video from 2015 of a woman being publicly executed in Syria by a wing of the al Qaeda is being shared with a false claim that the incident is from Afghanistan and shows a woman being shot dead by Taliban militants for stepping out of her house.
In April, United States' President Joe Biden declared the withdrawal of all American troops by September 11, 20 years after it invaded the country. In the past week, Taliban forces have moved swiftly to conquer major parts of Afghanistan including Herat and the capital city of Kabul.
The Taliban take over of the country has also put the spotlight back on the condition of women with the militant group's strict enforcement of not allowing women's education, restricting women from leaving without a male chaperone and the wearing of a full abbaya (not showing any skin). In the past, the punishment for not following the rules, would mean immediate and brutal action for women including public flogging, being stoned to death.
The video is being shared with a caption in Hindi that translates to, "Will an intellectual tell us if this the real form of Islam? That if a woman is not dressed according to you, then you kill her, the terror of the Taliban regime started, killing the woman just because she came out of the house. Women and children are never safe in Taliban thinking. There are many people of Talibani thinking in India too, we demand from the government that they should be thrown out of the country immediately."
(Original text in Hindi - कोई बुद्धिजीवी बताएगा क्या यही इस्लाम का असली रूप है? कि एक महिला ने अगर आपके हिसाब से कपड़े नहीं पहने हैं तो आप उसकी हत्या कर दें तालिबान शासन का आतंक शुरु महिला की हत्या सिर्फ इसलिए क्योंकि वह घर से बाहर निकली। तालिबानी सोच में कभी भी महिलाएं और बच्चे सुरक्षित नहीं है। हिंदुस्तान में भी बहुत से तालिबानी सोच के लोग हैं इन्हे तुरंत देश से बाहर निकाला जाए ऐसी हम सरकार से मांग करते है।)
A reverse image search with the keywords 'woman shot to death' showed a result for a story published by 'Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently', a citizen activist and journalists group reporting on crimes by the al Qaeda Syria.
The report by 'Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently' was dated January 13, 2015 and claimed that the video showed al-Nusra, the Syrian wing of terrorist group al Qaeda, publicly executing a woman accused of adultery in the al-Ma'arra region near Idlib in the country.
We then ran a search for 'al-Nusra publicly executes a woman' and found a report by Vice published on January 16, 2015 which carried screenshots from the video and further quoted a report by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirming the events. "In the footage, suspected masked members of al Nusra Front, the Syrian arm of al Qaeda, surround a woman in the streets. The woman, clad entirely in black, except for a red jacket, gets on her knees and reportedly asks to see her children — a request that is denied, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR)," reported Vice. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, is a UK based organisation documenting human right abuses in Syria.
We also found the story on SOHR's website published in January 2015 where they quoted, Rami Abdulrahman, director of the organisation confirming the events.
A story by wire agency Reuters published on January 14, 2015 said, "Islamic State, which split from al Qaeda and has seized land in Iraq and Syria, has beheaded and stoned to death Syrian and foreign civilians and combatants for crimes it sees as violating its strict interpretation of Islamic law. But Nusra Front, which sometimes fights alongside Western-backed insurgents in Syria as well as against them, has also carried out such killings or physical punishments after accusing people of violations such as insulting God or thievery."
The escalating conflict in Afghanistan has also led to various pieces of misinformation being shared on social media with many sharing a satire story about the Taliban wearing masks before taking over the country and old images shared as visuals of recent happenings in the country.
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