Trending video of boy being tortured with electric current, not from Nigeria but Mali

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THE scene in a video shared multiple times online, showing a boy being tortured with an electric current, was alleged to have taken place in Nigeria.

The video circulated on social media in June 2021, showing a boy tied to a makeshift metal cross by a man who held an exposed electric wire.

The man in the video used the electric wire on the metal the boy was tied to, leading to convulsion as electricity passed through the metal.

The viral video has been shared multiple times on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and reported on Linda Ikeji Blog.

The video was shared by a Nigerian Twitter user, Tosin Opeoluwa @CoachTosin, on June 17, 2021, and has had more than 27000 views, with 667 retweets, 167 quoted tweets and 301 likes.

Multiple comments under the post alleged the torture incident might have happened in Nigeria.

THE FINDINGS

The claim that the location in the video is Nigeria is false.

The ICIR found out that the incident happened in Mali.

Before the video began to trend in Nigeria, The ICIR had also found that a Kenyan, Nelson Mimi Mung’asia, based in Doha, the capital of Qatar, shared the the video on June 10, 2021, on his Facebook account.

The ICIR subjected the video to verification by using the Invid video verifier, which directed its reporter to Facebook pages, Mali.

Focus and Mali-Sadio TV, which published a post in French on the incident on June 8, 2021, using a screengrab of the tortured video from a TikTok account, benskshy.


Post translated by Facebook from French to English. Screengrab from Mali – Sadio TV Facebook account

The Post on Mali-Saido TV has been shared 42 times, with 66 comments. It has attracted more than 305 likes and on Mali Focus shared 10 times, with 27 comments and 124 likes.

The ICIR used Google Translate to interpret the post in English (It was originally in French).

The incident, according to the Facebook post, happened in Mali.


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The post had said that Attorney Idrissa Toure ordered the perpetrator’s arrest after a complaint was lodged.

According to the post, Toure was the Attorney of the Court of the Municipality IV.

The post also disclosed that the arrest took place on June 7, 2021.

It also said three witnesses to the torture had been identified, arrested and taken to custody.

The post further disclosed that the boy was tortured after it was discovered that he had stolen a mobile phone belonging to a client that came to the metal workshop.

A Malian Twitter user Bakary Coulibaly, based in Washington, confirmed to The ICIR that the language from the video was Bambara/Dioula, the national language of Mali and also spoken in some parts of Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.

Efforts by The ICIR to get a reaction from government officials in Mali proved abortive as an email sent to the Malian government requesting a response on the incident since on June 23, 2021, was not responded to.

Also, an inquiry mail sent to an official email linked to the National Police of Mali, obtained from a Facebook page that was last used in 2017 and linked to the National Police of Mali, has also not been answered.

The ICIR also contacted Fatima Maiga, a Media – Mediator, Policy Analyst and former Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Reconciliation and the Ministry of Women in Mali, according to her profile on Peace and Pluralism, a non-profit network that builds the capacities of women.

In response to The ICIR email inquiry sent in French on June 22, 2021, Maiga confirmed in French that the video came from Mali and further said the perpetrator of the torture had been arrested.

Her mail read (Google Translate):

Good evening Shehu,

I received your message and inquired about it from a journalist friend. After checking it gave me the following return:”

I inquired about the young man’s torture. It turned out that the authors of the act were placed under arrest warrant by the prosecutor of commune IV of Bamako. “

I hope this will help you. Yours truly. Fatima.


Fatima Maiga email response

THE VERIDICT

The claim that a trending video that captured a boy’s torture with an electric wire happened in Nigeria is FALSE. The ICIR found out that the incident happened in Bamako, Mali.

 

This was republished from The International Centre for Investigative Reporting.

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