The story of a couple from the northern Malian city of Timbuktu receiving 100 lashes on Wednesday for having had a child out of wedlock has been reported by numerous new sources, sparking a mixture of shock and outrage around the world. However, the photo (below) accompanying the story is not all that it seems.
The photo was not taken yesterday in Timbuktu, but rather in Somalia in March 2010.
It shows Mohamed Abukar Ibrahim, a man accused of adultery that Islamist rebels condemned to death by stoning.
The news sources described the image as having been taken in Timbuktu and showing a man being whipped by Ansar Dine, the Islamist group that now controls much of northern Mali. But this is not the case.
Photo published on the website Malijet.com
Screen grab of an article by the Huffington Post about the death by stoning of Mohamed Abukar Ibrahim, published on March 18, 2010.
According to colleagues at our sister radio station RFI, the actual whipping of the Timbuktu couple was in fact filmed by a reporter for Mali’s state television, but that video has not yet been aired. The same Islamist judge who condemned the pair went on to marry the two on Wednesday evening, right after their whipping.