The claim of Ethiopian forces beheading civilians in Tigray
On Oct 6, 2022, a Facebook post appeared sharing a graphic image that shows a beheaded face of a man with a claim that the person was slaughtered recently by the Ethiopian allied forces in a place called Tselimoy, in western Tigray after a battle between TPLF forces and the Ethiopian military a month ago.
The image-backed post emerged after TPLF media outlets reported that Ethiopia and Amhara allied that forces committed atrocities in the area.
However, it is confirmed that the image doesn’t support the claim. The image is old and was taken from a post made on a Nigerian internet-based forum called Nairaland on Nov 23, 2020. Thus, the post is rated FALSE.
Addictive drugs allegedly seized from TPLF fighters
On Oct 4, 2022, a Facebook post appeared sharing three images claiming that the pictures show addictive drugs recently seized from TPLF fighters in Kobo town of Amhara regional state. The post was viral and was shared over fifty times.
The images were also circulating and posted by other Facebook accounts.
The post came out days later after the TPLF forces announced that their forces recently retreated and withdrew from some parts of the Amhara regional state.
However, two of the three images don’t support the claim. Therefore, the post was rated Partly False.
The first image was cropped from an image shared on Facebook on Aug 8, 2022, by the Fana Broadcasting Corporation with a description that drug dealers were captured in Gondar city.
HaqCheck could not find the second image.
The third image was published for the first time on Aug 18, 2020, on Facebook by a state media outlet with a news story that dealers who were smuggling addictive drugs were arrested in Addis Ababa.
Therefore, HaqCheck rated the post as Partly False.
TPLF forces acquiring Javelin anti-tank missile
A Twitter post appeared sharing an image claiming that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) recently acquired a Javelin anti-tank missile before the third round of fighting with the Ethiopian government started.
The tweet also stated that the recent claim by the TPLF that it destroyed 16 enemy tanks might be factual as far as it acquired the javelin anti-tank missile.
The claim came after the TPLF claimed that they destroyed many enemy military equipment including three T-72 tanks, 16 tanks, and thousands of light and heavy firearms.
However, HaqCheck looked into the image and confirmed that the picture doesn’t prove the claim.
The image was taken from another old publication on a news site in November 2011 along with a news story that the French army ordered a new Javelin anti-tank missile kit to be integrated into VAB [Vehicule de l’Avant Blinde, a French military vehicle] armored vehicle.
Ethiopia transporting air force commandos From Debre Zeit to Asmara
A Facebook page with more than 700 thousand followers shared a 25 Second video on Oct 5, 2022, captioned, “Please have a look at this video showing how the Abiy regime [Federal Government] is sending its airforce commandos from Debre Zeit air force base to Asmara[Eritrea], it is not fair to deploy soldiers while talking about peace. Whatsoever, the Army of TDF [Tigray Defense Forces] will not be inattentive.”
HaqCheck used keywords to find the original 4-minute and 05 second-long video previously posted on Aug 29, 2022. The video was posted on a Facebook page with more than nine thousand followers captioned, “The FDRE national airforce training, watch the video”. The video has more than 500 views.
HaqCheck found the same video footage on both videos.
Given its findings that identified the real source of the footage, HaqCheck confirmed that the video was old and was shared in a different context a year before. The post was rated False.
We recommend social media influencers be responsible and avoid being the agents of false information dissemination and that content creators abstain from intentionally or unintentionally circulating such information. Social media users are urged to be skeptical of controversial information and try to cross-check it. They should try to figure out the authenticity and the original source of the provided information.
HaqCheck recommends the government and other entities offer timely updates regarding issues that matter to the public. The government should ensure the right of citizens and the media to access to information.