Faces of Oromo activists digitally added to t-shirts worn by Egyptian footballers

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An image has been shared on Facebook in Ethiopia claiming to show three Egyptian football players, including Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the faces of Ethiopian opposition leader Jawar Mohammed and Hachalu Hundessa, a singer Ethiopian man and civil rights activist who was assassinated in June 2020. However, this is wrong: AFP Fact Check traced the original image of the three teammates – all wearing trendy, branded T-shirts without the faces of the Ethiopian men – on Salah’s Instagram page.

The Publish was published on June 30, 2022 and has been shared over 60 times from Oromia INFO, a Facebook page that has nearly 11,000 followers.

“It was reported that Mohammed Salah wore t-shirts with images of Jawar and Hachalu. If you want to read why Salah wore the t-shirt, click on the link below (sic)reads part of the caption written in the Ethiopian Oromo language.

Screenshot of fake Facebook post, taken July 14, 2022

Contrary to what is claimed in the caption, the link leads to an Oromo-language blog page called DW Blogs, which is not associated with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. The blog post discusses the conflict between Ethiopia and Sudan.

A search of the blog found no trace of the image, which shows three Egyptian footballers posing for the camera. They include Liverpool FC striker Mohamed Salah in the middle, with fellow countrymen Omar Gaber on the right and Nabil Dounga on the left.

Both Gaber and Dounga appear to be wearing white shirts printed with a picture of Hachalu, while Salah’s top appears to feature a smaller image of Jawar.

Hachalu was shot dead in Addis Ababa in June 2020, sparking a wave of protests led by Jawar, a prominent Oromo leader and former media mogul. He was later arrested during an altercation with security forces over Hachalu’s burial site.

More than 160 people were killed in street protests after Hachalu’s death. Oromo political leaders and opposition activists, including Jawar, have been arrested and detained amid a government crackdown.

The faces of the two men, however, were not part of the original photo showing Salah with his national teammates.

doctored image

By running a reverse image search, AFP Fact Check found the original picture on Salah’s official Instagram account where it was posted on June 2, 2020.

Original photo (left) versus doctored version (right)

In the original image, unlike the doctored photograph shared on Facebook, Dounga is wearing a white Dior t-shirt, Salah’s has no separate image on it, while Gaber’s top features a photo of Albert Einstein sticking out the tongue.

AFP Fact Check has previously denied claims linked to doctored images of people whose attire has been digitally altered (here and here).

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