Screen grab from the video showing a man tying together the young woman's legs, before she is stoned.
WARNING: The following image may shock viewers.
A gruesome video showing a schoolgirl apparently being stoned to death went viral in Nigeria on Thursday, with many believing claims that it shows Islamist militants from Boko Haram stoning one of the 200 children they kidnapped in Chibok, northern Nigeria three weeks ago.
However, FRANCE 24 can confirm that this video was in fact published back in early 2013 on several websites, and likely shows a stoning in Somalia that dates back several years.
Our Observer in Nigeria, who has been campaigning for the schoolgirls’ safe return, believes that these types of rumours are spreading like wildfire due to the lack of information coming from the government about their search for the missing schoolgirls.
Due to the disturbing nature of the footage, FRANCE 24 has decided to publish only screen grabs of the video. The nearly 11-minute long video shows a young woman being buried in the ground up to her neck. She is then stoned by multiple men as a crowd watches from a distance, and finally appears to be lifeless. The video is dubbed with the voice of a man reciting Koranic verses.
The Nigerian Minister for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, quickly dismissed the video’s validity and said that a 2008 BBC report shows that the stoning took place in Somalia.
The BBC article cited by the minister, which is based on eyewitness testimonies, describes a stoning similar to the one shown in the video, though the article does not include any images. Somalian journalists contacted by FRANCE 24 said they had never seen this mysterious video before, but that it could have very well been filmed in their country since the scenery in the video looks similar to that around Kismayo, the town where the stoning reported by the BBC took place.
However, none of this has stopped the video from continuing to spread.
Screen capture from the video showing the young woman blindfolded and buried.