Massacres in the Debre Elias Monastery
For the last few weeks, social media claims that are related to an armed clash in the Debre Elias woreda in the East Gojam zone of the Amhara region had been circulating. The claims that the government bombarded a monastery in the woreda and killed civilians were accompanied by pictures.
Likewise, similar claims were spotted and debunked by HaqCheck during the second week of June.
For instance, a particular image was circulating across the Ethiopian social media landscape supporting a claim that the Ethiopian government recently massacred many monks in the monastery in the Amhara regional state.
The image was also shared on Facebook with the same claim that the Ethiopian armed forces were shelling the monastery and killing many civilians.
However, the picture was old and found previously published on a news website on Apr 14, 2017.
According to the description of the original image, it shows the dead bodies of 36 non-Muslim civilians massacred by Al Shabaab militants in Kenya.
Ethiopian armed forces besieged a monastery in West Gojjam
Similar to the previous claim in content, the claim that federal armed forces surrounded a monastery located in the West Gojjam zone of the Amhara region planning to attack the monastery emerged at the end of the second week of June.
This claim infested social media platforms and Facebook posts with the same claim were shared over a thousand times.
However, HaqCheck could confirm whether the claim was true or false. Additionally, the images presented alongside the claim were not falsifiable. The pictures only depict monks and chapels.
We recommend social media users be cautious of unverified social media accounts and the information and post that came out of these accounts.
Social media users are advised not to react to controversial claims on social media platforms before are sure that the information at hand is authentic. They should also look for additional information and should avoid hasty reactions.
HaqCheck urges public offices and other institutions to provide the public with timely updates and clarifications.
At last, social media content creators are recommended to be responsible and refrain from disseminating disinformation.