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Photo of anti-torture protest in Australia, not actual torture of Christians in China

A Facebook user has posted a photo with a claim that it shows the persecution and torture of a Christian in China.

In the photo, a man with his hands tied behind his back, his face and shirt seemingly covered in blood, is seated straight-legged on a bench. Two uniformed men on either side of him appear to be crushing his legs with a metal rod. A banner behind the trio reads: “Now happening in China.”

The photo is captioned: “Christian percussion in China. Breaking legs of Christian believer. May God have mercy on our brothers and sisters in China.”

The post was shared on a Zambian Facebook group page. But is it real?

Demonstration of torture staged in Australia

The photo actually relates to the alleged persecution of a different group in China. 

A reverse image search reveals that it was posted online on 16 July 2004, on the site Falun Dafa Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, is a spiritual practice banned in China since 1999.

According to the article, the photo is one of many taken during an exhibition in Brisbane, Australia, on 10 July 2004.

“Dafa practitioners” held a “large-scale anti-torture exhibition” to “expose the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China”, it says.

“The torture scenes were so true-to-life that they shocked many people who stopped to take a look at the exhibition.”

The photo does not show the torture of a Christian in China. Instead, it depicts a staged demonstration, in Australia, of the alleged torture of Falun Dafa adherents in China. – Dancan Bwire


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