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Muslims made into corned beef? No, photo of 2010 Tibetan earthquake victims

Warning: This report links to a distressing photo of a mass funeral.

Are the bodies of Muslims murdered in Burma (a disputed name, also given as Myanmar) being shipped to China, where they are processed into corned beef that’s then sold in African countries?


But that’s the claim in a Facebook post that in two graphics combines two false claims – one already debunked by Africa Check.

The first shows at least a hundred dead bodies piled on two trestles. People in reddish robes are seen standing around and between the dead. 

The text reads: “Plz Share This if you are a True Muslim so that world come to know whats happening with Muslims in Burma.”

The second graphic is a collage of images, of corned beef, as well as what seem to be human arms, legs and torsos hanging from hooks in a meat-processing plant. 

The text reads: “The Chinese have started to produce canned beef with their dead bodies and sending them to Africa.”

Images from video game promotion

The post has been shared in Nigeria and South Africa. And it uses both graphics to tell a shocking story:

“This is what is happening to muslim ummah in burma now... They are killing Muslim ummah and sending there are dead body to Chinese and produce a stuff name canned beef... And they are sending this stuff to African now... Which there name it corned beef... Please be warn... If you get across it don't buy it... Because is an human being body.”

But the second graphic is a hoax that’s been online since 2012, as our fact-check explains. The human body parts shown aren’t real. They were fabricated for an exhibit to promote a computer game.

Funeral for Tibetan earthquake victims

But what about the first image? Does it show Muslims murdered in Burma/Myanmar?

It doesn’t. The dead are victims of a massive earthquake that hit the Tibetan plateau in April 2010, killing at least 3,000 people. The figures in reddish robes are Tibetan monks preparing the cremation of some of the victims.

The photo was taken by Guang Niu and is licensed by Getty Images. Other photos of the funeral can be seen on the Getty Images website.

Rohingya persecution in Burma/Myanmar

Since at least 2017, Muslim people have been persecuted in and exiled from Burma/Myanmar, as many reports reveal. The country’s population is mainly Buddhist.

The Rohingya are a minority community, about 1.1 million people, who practise Islam. Although they aren’t the only Muslim community in Burma/Myanmar, they are the largest. They have been described as “the world’s most persecuted people”.

In 2017 Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said the Burma/Myanmar government’s treatment of the Rohingya minority appeared to be a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing.

False evidence of this crisis, posted on Facebook, will not help its victims. – Mary Alexander


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