Posted on: September 10, 2021 Posted by: Kamadi Amata Comments: 0

The original image of inmates taking part in the Africa Yoga Project from a Kenyan prison has been doctored.

Syndicated story by PesaCheck.

A Twitter post claiming to show an image of former Starehe member of parliament Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, in a Kenyan prison following her 2017 arrest has been ALTERED.

The image purportedly shows Wanjiru sitting next to another inmate with their legs and arms crossed. The wall behind the two women has an inscription that reads, “Margaret Wanjiru was here”.

“Bishop Wanjiru was arrested on 26th of April 2017, and was taken to Parklands Police station where she was held for interrogation,” reads the image caption.

Similar images have been shared on Twitter; here and here.

However, a reverse image search on TinEye.com reveals the original photo was first used on 5 July 2016 and Wanjiru was not in it. Instead, the original image was manipulated to insert an image of the Bishop’s head over the body of a prison inmate in the photo.

A further search using Google’s reverse image search accompanied by keywords ‘jail’ ‘yoga’, revealed that the original image was used in an article published by yogajournal.com on 10 November 2015 titled Inspiration Flipbook: 21 Yoga Photos To Get You On Your Mat.

In the article, photographer Robert Sturman, a dedicated yoga practitioner, showcases 21 images of yoga enthusiasts across the globe, including a group of female inmates in Kenyan prisons as part of the Africa Yoga Project.

While Sturman does not mention which exact women’s prison he visited, he states that the visit brought him unexpected joy, when the inmates, many living with HIV/Aids, shared that yoga has become a rare source of happiness in their daily lives.

“After yoga, the women are asked to paint what they feel. Most of them wrote about how much they loved yoga. I tried to capture this joy and the relaxing effects that this practice is bringing into their current reality,” he states.

On 26 April 2017, Bishop Wanjiru was held at the Parklands Police Station after she allegedly caused a ruckus at City Park polling station, Nairobi, during Jubilee Party primaries. The story was shared by local media houses including Citizen Digital here, along with a video published by The Star here.

She was released on 28 April 2017, on a Ksh 100,000 cash bail, after one night in the cell.

PesaCheck has looked into a tweet with an image claiming to show former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, in a Kenyan prison after a 2017 arrest and finds the image has been ALTERED.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by PesaCheck fact-checker Cynthia Kanyali and edited by PesaCheck chief copy editor Rose Lukalo. The article was approved for publication by managing editor Enock Nyariki.

PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water / sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.

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PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local African media and other civic watchdog organisations.