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No, photos not of recent Building Bridges rally in Meru, Kenya

Photos of overturned chairs and people running have been posted on Facebook with the claim they are of the Building Bridges Initiative rally held on 29 February 2020 in Meru county, eastern Kenya. There were reports of protests at the rally.

The first photo shows plastic chairs scattered all over with uniformed police officers in the background. The second photo is of a crowd running down a street.

“BBI Meru edition,” the caption reads. 

But are the photos really from the February event in Meru?

Photos old, unrelated

A reverse image search of the first photo reveals that it was posted online on 12 December 2016. It shows the aftermath of Meru county Jamhuri Day celebrations that reportedly turned violent after supporters of two politicians clashed.

Another reverse image search shows the second photo, credited to Anne Knight, has been online since September 2013.

It has been published on Kujenga Amani, a website of global NGO the Social Science Research Council, and on Wikimedia Commons.

It’s described as “taken of and around the 2013 Westgate shopping mall terrorist incident in Nairobi, Kenya”, and dated 23 September 2013.

Both photos are years old. They do not show the recent rally in Meru county. – Dancan Bwire


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