Old, edited image passed off as recent photo of jailed Pakistani former PM Imran Khan

By: Rahul Adhikari
February 8 2024

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Old, edited image passed off as recent photo of jailed Pakistani former PM Imran Khan

Social media posts claim that the viral picture of Imran Khan was captured recently at Adiala Jail. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict Fake

The viral image dates back to August 2023 and has been manipulated to falsely claim that it is a recent photo of the former Pakistan PM.

Claim ID f36489ae

What is the claim?

An image of jailed former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is circulating on social media with the claim that it is a recent photo of the politician and shows him at a court sentencing. The image shows the former cricketer and leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party sitting with his lawyers, Khawaja Haris and Mashal Yousafzai.

Several social media users have claimed that the picture was taken in Adiala Jail, the central prison in Rawalpindi—where a court sentenced him to ten years of imprisonment on January 30 for leaking state secrets. Khan has been in the Adiala Jail since August 2023 after a Lahore court sentenced him to three years in prison in a corruption case.

One user shared the picture on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption: “The latest picture shows Imran Khan with a beard in Adiala Jail.” An archived version of the post and others making similar claims can be viewed here, here, and here. These posts surfaced within hours of the January 30 hearing.

 Screenshots of the posts on X and Facebook. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, we have found that the picture is not recent and has been edited. 

What did we find?

A reverse image search revealed that the photo is from August 2023, and has been edited. 

In the original image, Khan does not have a beard. Khan’s lawyer Mashal Yousafzai posted the image on X on August 1, 2023, writing: “Khan will stand till the last drop of blood! Because you are our last hope (translated from Urdu).”

The beard in the viral image was added using editing techniques. We have included a comparison between the viral photo and the original image below. 

 Comparison between the viral photo and the original image. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)

Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that they covered Khan's court hearing at Adiala Jail on January 30 and confirmed that Khan didn’t have a beard at the time.

CNN reported that court hearings against Khan are being held at Adiala Jail for security reasons. After being sentenced to 10 years of prison on January 30 for leaking state secrets, Khan and his wife, Bushra Bibi, were also convicted of the illegal sale of state gifts a day later and sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment. On February 4, the couple was also sentenced to seven years in jail as a court ruled that their 2018 marriage had violated the law. 

The convictions against Khan came just days before Pakistan went to elections on February 8. According to AP News, Khan’s sentences total 34 years and will be served concurrently. While PTI is contesting the polls, Khan is barred from participating in the elections. 

The verdict

An old, edited image was shared to falsely claim that it is a recent photo of Imran Khan. Therefore, we have marked this claim as fake.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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