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Shared Image of Arrestees in Gondar is Misleading

By Soyome Getachew

Claim: An X account tweeted an image that shows hands of youths tied to their back and claimed the youths of Gondar, a city in Amhara Region, are getting what they deserve, which gives an impression that these youths were arrested for not standing for freedom in the context of the fighting between the Fano Militiamen and government security forces.

Verdict: Misleading. The image is taken from another context.

An X (formerly known as Twitter) account named DerejeK68472577 with 26K followers shared an image on May 9, 2024 with an Amharic texts that read: “The youth of Amhara/Gondar,  who can use freedom ridiculously, is getting their price. Maybe they get this as they were seeing football or as they were drinking Tej [alcoholic beverage consumed locally]. They made the martyr of Theodros a mockery for Oromo and Tigray ‘’ (see image below). 

This post, which was originally shared by a TikTok account named “Dagne Wale የጨነቀለት,” has received more than 6000 views and has been shared more than 39 times as of the publication of this article.

However, the image used by the account does not support the claim.

The image in question contains a photo of people whose hand appears to be tied behind their back and the texts in the image read: “ohh, what a gut-wrenching. This happens to Gondar. But how long will this happen, Amhara[?]’.”

MFC used the RevEye Reverse Image Search tool to check if the image had been posted before. The tool returned the result by finding the image from previous post.

MFC then reviewed this previous post written on X account by the name Getachew Assefa, who claimed Oromo students protesting at university. The post stated: “#Oromo university and high school students are protesting with their arms tied behind them, mimicking the way the political leader Baattee Urgeessaa was killed and disposed of, with six gunshot wounds and his arms bound with his own belt. Battee, survived by his wife and four children with a fifth on the way, was known for his outspokenness against government atrocities and his commitment to non-violent struggle, earning respect from both allies and adversaries. Reuters’  investigative report in February exposed the “Koree Nageenya” – death squad  – established by Abiy Ahmed and led by Oromia President Shimelis Abdisa, who is accused of silencing potential Oromo leaders. Calls for an independent investigation into Battee’s assassination have resonated nationally and internationally, though many doubt it will materialize’’ (see screenshot below).

This claim itself that carries the same cover photo cannot be credited as the original image. Yet, based on the gathered evidence, MFC confirmed that the image shared by “Dagne Wale የጨነቀለት” and reposted by DerejeK68472577 appears to be taken out of context and misleading.

Context

On April 6, 2023, the Ethiopian federal government announced that it had decided to disarm regional special police forces.

After the decision of the government, instability stormed the Amhara regional state opposing to  dissolution of regional special police forces. Then Armed confrontations and clashes have taken place in the Amhara region.

The Fano militiamen took control of many areas including major cities in the region. The government soon after declared a state of emergency in the region to reverse the situation.

Despite the federal government reclaiming major areas of the Amhara region, fighting and armed confrontations between Ethiopian armed forces and Fano militiamen persisted.

We at the MFC strive to verify misleading and false claims so that people get fact-based information and make an informed decision as well. In the process of our work, accuracy and transparency hold a central role. Therefore, if you see errors in our content, please write to us at [email protected] so that our team will make corrections.

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An X account tweeted an image that shows hands of youths tied to their back

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(MFC) is an independent fact-checking organization which is launched to pin-point, track-down, scrutinize, investigate, interrogate, publish and distribute the factual accuracy of claims made by public figures. MFC’s project has geographical priorities. Our work mainly focuses on nations in the Horn of Africa and their diaspora community who reside abroad. We operates from various regions of Africa, Europe and North America. Through a multitude of professional proficiency, MFC deploys best practices of journalism, scholarship and expertise in order to flag, investigate and publish a fact.

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