Altered Photo of Women Being Chained Shared Amid Afghanistan Crisis

The original photo was taken in 2003 and it is now being shared in the backdrop of the Afghanistan crisis.

3 min read
Altered Photo of Women Being Chained Shared Amid Afghanistan Crisis

A set of two images – one claimed to be from 1960 and another from 2021 – is being shared on social media to claim that the 1960 image showed a "progressive" Afghanistan with women smiling and walking in the streets wearing skirts and the 2021 image showed three women clad in burqa and chained, with a man walking ahead of them.

However, we found that while the image that is claimed to be from 1960 is from 1972 in Afghanistan, the other image is an altered one, where the chain has been added. Moreover, the photo was taken in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, and not in Afghanistan, as claimed.

This comes in the backdrop of the Taliban, that took control of Afghanistan, stating that it will respect women's rights within the framework of the Sharia (Islamic law).



A Facebook user shared the comparitive image with the caption, "Pictures itself tells the whole story, the condition in Afghanistan is worse than anyone can think of! End of humanity in Afghanistan. (sic)"

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

Several social media users have shared the same comparison and the archived links can be accessed here, here and here.


We found that while the first photo was taken in 1972, the other image was altered.


We found the first image on Getty Images with the title as 'Femmes en Afghanistan, 1972'.

Photo in Getty Images.

(Source: Getty Images)



We conducted a reverse image search on the picture and came across a website called 'Trek Earth' which carried the photograph.

The image was attributed to one 'Murat Duzyol'. The caption of the photo read, "This photo was taken in Baghdad. The man and his women walking to the city center. (sic)"

The image was attributed to one 'Murat Duzyol'.

(Source: Trek Earth/Screenshot)

One can clearly seen the difference between the image, which is being shared in the context of Afghanistan and the original image. The chain has been added.

We also reached out to the photographer, Murat Duzyol, who confirmed that the photo was taken by him in 2003 in Iraq, where he was out on an assignment.

"I took the photo in 2003. After a commemoration-and-condolence ceremony for Iraqi civilians who were killed after a Friday prayer in the city of Erbil in Northern Iraq, when people were returning to their homes, I took this shot. It is a completely instant snapshot."
Murat Duzyol, Photo journalist based out of Istanbul

"The women obviously knew each other. But I'm not sure if they knew the man," he added.

He also shared with us the original photograph and we extracted its EXIF data, which corroborated the details.

The EXIF data of the image shows that it was captured on 28 February 2003.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Clearly, an altered photo is being shared on social media, claiming to show present-day Afghanistan.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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