Old Photo Of Pakistani Activist Viral As Mother Of Lynched Sri Lankan

The photo is from 2019 and shows a Pakistani woman protesting against the government

After a Sri Lankan man was lynched for alleged blasphemy in Pakistan in early December, a photo circulated on social media alongside a claim that it shows the man's grieving mother next to his burning body. But the photo was shared in a false context; it has circulated online since at least July 2020 in media reports about a Pakistani civil servant burning an effigy of Prime Minister Imran Khan in protest over alleged sexual abuse by ministers in Pakistan.

The photo shows a woman kneeling in front of a fire on a road.

It was shared on Twitter on December 4, 2021.


Screenshot of the false post. Captured December 8, 2021.

The photo's caption, written in Urdu and English, states: "Let's once again take the shelter of religion, and burn someone's home, let's take the name of the Lord, and burn a human.

"How can you explain to this Sri Lankan mother whose son is burnt in Sialkot today that Muslims are peace-loving people or Islam is a religion of love? #sialkotincident".

The post circulated online one day after a Sri Lankan factory manager was beaten to death and set ablaze by a mob who accused him of blasphemy in Sialkot, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) southeast of the capital Islamabad. AFP reported on the incident here.

The same photo was also shared alongside a similar claim on Twitter here, here, here and here; and on Facebook here and here.

But the photo has been shared in a false context.

Roadside protest

A reverse search on Google found the same photo in this report published by Pakistani media organisation City 42 on July 9, 2020.

It is about a roadside protest in Lahore against sexual misconduct staged by Afshan Latif, a civil servant at a government-run welfare centre.

"Afshan Latif is constantly making accusations on social media against the Prime Minister, Chief Minister Punjab, provincial ministers and the Social Welfare Department," the Urdu-language report reads.

Latif alleged in online videos that the welfare centre she worked at was being used to supply underage girls to powerful ministers, Pakistan media organisation Dawn News reported in December 2019.

The ministers who Latif accused of misconduct denied the allegations, Paskistan media outlet Geo News reported.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the false posts (L) and the 2020 photo published by City 42 (R):


Screenshot comparison
The photo also corresponds with this video posted on Twitter on July 8, 2020.

"Tying a rope around [Prime Minister] Imran Khan's neck, Afshan Latif is burning his effigy outside the Governor House after stomping on it and dragging it from the Lahore Assembly to Mall Road," the video's caption reads.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the false posts (L) and the video (R):

Screenshot comparison

Different woman

A photo of the Sri Lankan man's mother captured by the Associated Press news agency can be viewed here.

She bears no resemblance to the woman pictured in the false posts.


Screenshot of photo from the Associated Press.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by BOOM staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Updated On: 2021-12-11T18:59:41+05:30
Claim :   A lady crying in front of fire is weeping for her son killed by radical Muslim mobs in Pakistan.
Claimed By :  Post on Twitter
Fact Check :  False
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