On 24 January 2020 a facebook post by the name Taajudin Ahamadi (a facebook account with 3,953 friends) shared the image below with the claim that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) is seriously ill and is being treated in the hospital. The post came out amid the ongoing speculation about the prime minister’s whereabouts and about his safety and so far 28 users had shared it. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the image doesn’t show PM Abiy Ahmed ill and being treated in hospital, therefore rating it ALTERED.
There have been many speculations about the wellbeing and whereabouts of the Ethiopian PM, Abiy Ahmed in recent times. Some have speculated that the PM is seriously ill with others claiming that he is even deceased. But the Prime Minister Office announced that the speculations about the PM’s safety are false. Amid these unconfirmed speculations on 28 January 2021 the prime minister was seen visiting the prosthetics production for injured soldiers and civilians.
In this context the facebook post emerged claiming the prime minister is ill and he is being treated in a hospital. However, a google reverse image search of the picture doesn’t prove the claim. The image was first published on Gofundme, an internet-based platform for fundraising with information that the image is of a dead body of Bidhan Thapa, a person who died in the USA due to cardiac arrest at the John Hopkins Hospital on 10 July, 2017 (over two years before the post was published). The image of the dead body was posted to collect funds to help Bidhan Thapa’s wife, Priscilla Rai. The original post related to the image can be accessed with the following link.
Granted, there have been allegations about the wellbeing of PM Abiy Ahmed in recent times. However, HaqCheck has interrogated the post and confirmed that the image doesn’t show the Ethiopian PM ill and being treated in a hospital, therefore giving it the rating ALTERED due to inaccurate usage of the image.
Fact Checked by: Hagos Gebreamlak
Edited by: Bruck Negash Teame
The following article is part of HaqCheck, Addis Zeybe’s multilingual fact checking initiative, which is run by its R&D Department.