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Man arrested in Kenya for not wearing mask during coronavirus outbreak? No, photo from 2014 strike

A photo circulating on Facebook in Kenya on 15 April 2020 shows two police officers escorting a man down a street.

“The citizen was arrested by the government for not wearing a face mask,” one caption reads. “Ironically the government [officials] arresting this poor citizen doesn't have a face mask. Oh my Kenya my country.”

Another user posted: “These 2 traffic policemen arrested this pedestrian for not wearing a mask. They, too, are not wearing masks!”

The claim has also been made on Twitter, tagging several Kenyan authorities.

On 15 April regulations came into effect requiring people in Kenya to wear face masks in public or risk arrest. The measures are intended to slow the spread of Covid-19 infection.

But does the photo show a man arrested under the regulations?

Arrest during 2014 strike

Not one of the people in the photo is wearing a mask, including onlookers in the background. That’s a hint that it may not have been taken recently.

And a reverse image search reveals that it’s almost six years old.

It was published on the Standard newspaper’s website on 23 August 2014 with the caption: “Police manhandle a person they arrested in Mombasa during a Matatu strike.”

The Covid-19 outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019. – Dancan Bwire


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