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Fact Check: Image Of Columbian Protester Falsely Linked To Stone-Pelting Punishment In Iran


An image showing a woman buried neck-deep in sand is doing the rounds on social media. Many users claim that this picture was taken just before the woman was stoned to death in Iran under Shariah laws. Many others have also criticised Islam for such atrocities towards women in their religion. 

A Facebook user posted the viral post with the following caption: 

The stoning will probably be a blessing after all the torture, beatings and rape she’s had to go through beforehand while in custody.

You can check the post here.


NewsMobile fact-checked the viral post, and found it to be false.

Running a Reverse Image Search of the video keyframes, the NM team identified a stock photo on Getty images, dated July 4, 2003. The woman in the picture matches with the one in the viral post. But as per its caption, the woman buried herself to protest against the Columbian government in Aguablanca, Cali, Colombia. She was protesting against the city administration for not giving a place to live to the displaced.

Searching further, we found several images of the same woman, named Maria Gabriela Ruiz, in Reuters Pictures. The description of all these images corroborates the claim, informing that apart from Ruiz, 2 other men, too, buried themselves neck-deep in sand to protest against the city administration in Cali, Columbia.

There was no mention of Iran or the woman being stoned to death anywhere on the web. Therefore, we can conclusively say that the viral post, claiming to show a woman’s picture moments before being stoned to death in Iran, is false.

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