On Dec 14, 2022, HaqCheck came across a Facebook post sharing an image that uniformed security officers harassing students with a claim that the picture shows police officers recently assaulting students in Addis Ababa.

The post was virally circulated and was shared close to half a thousand times by the time this article was published.

Yet, HaqCheck confirmed that the image doesn’t show a recent police assault on students in Addis Ababa. Thus, the post was rated False.

There have been claims that students and the Addis Ababa police clashed because schools were ‘forced to display the Oromia national flag and students to sing Oromia regional anthem’.

According to an Ethiopian News Agency, Adanech Abebe, Mayor of Addis Ababa, said that there were people who sought to unleash flag-related conflict in the city.

On Dec 8, 2022, Addis Ababa Police Commission stated that it arrested 97 students and teachers suspected of inciting conflict and violence in the city.

Police said that those arrested students and teachers provoked conflicts by dragging the Ethiopian flag and the Oromia regional flag.

Head of Addis Ababa City Peace and Security Administration Bureau, Lydia Girma announced on Dec 12, 2022,  that security forces detained 72 individuals who allegedly were suspected of working to instigate violence in schools in the city.

HaqCheck also found a video clip published on Facebook on Dec 12, 2022, claiming to be showing police officers violently assaulting students in Shiromeda.

News reports this week stated that the federal government ordered schools in the city not to force students to sing Oromia regional anthem and not to enforce the display of the Oromia flag.

The image-backed claim that police recently assaulted students in Addis Ababa appeared against the backdrop of this situation.

In an effort to verify whether the image supports the claim or not, HaqCheck uses a google reverse image search. As a result, the picture was found previously posted in 2016 on different websites including by Human Rights Watch. The description attached to the image claimed that the picture shows Ethiopian security forces harassing students in the Oromia regional state in 2016 in a bid to suppress the widespread popular protests against the then-ruling regime.


Granted there were claims of police violence amid the clashes in schools in the city, but the image does not prove the claim.Therefore, HaqCheck rated the post as False.

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