Video of Street Play in London Shared as 'Women Being Auctioned in Afghanistan'

The video showed a 2014 street play from London, organised to raise awareness on the crimes committed by ISIS.

4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Fact-Check | The video showed a 2014 street play from London, organised to raise awareness on the crimes committed by ISIS.</p></div>

A disturbing 2 and half minute long footage showing men auctioning off women on a street corner has been shared with a claim that it shows the Taliban selling women in Afghanistan.

The claim comes days after the Taliban took over control of the country by capturing Kabul and seizing the Presidential Palace on Sunday, 15 August.

However, we found that the video was neither recent nor from Afghanistan. The video showed a street play that took place in London in 2014 to raise awareness of the crimes committed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq.



In the video, one man could be seen auctioning women who sat kneeling, while a few other men held them.

The caption shared with the viral video said, "Open sale of women in Afghanistan."

"Taliban takes over Afghanistan and here starts the auction of women," said another social media user.

(Trigger warning: Viewer discretion is advised)

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Photo: Facebook/Screenshot)

The video was shared by many Facebook and Twitter users, archives of which can be found here, here and here.

We also received the video on our WhatsApp tipline.


We used the InVID WeVerify Google Chrome extension to fragment the video into several keyframes. While looking at some of the keyframes, we noticed the iconic red buses one sees in London and the black taxis. We could also hear the men auctioning "Kurdish women".

We then conducted a reverse image search on some of the keyframes and that led us to a YouTube link carrying the same video posted on 7 October 2017. The video was titled, "auctioning women on the street of London."

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The viral video posted on YouTube.&nbsp;</p></div>

The viral video posted on YouTube. 

(Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)

Taking a cue from the video title, we conducted a keyword search on Google and came across news reports published in several international organisations like BBC, Newsweek and Huffington Post.


According to the BBC report, the video was a part of a social media campaign by Kurdish activists against the Islamic State. The group shared organised a mock "Islamic State sex slave market" in the different parts of London.

We compared a still from the BBC video with the viral video and found that the man auctioning the women was common in both the videos, and was wearing the same clothes.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Comparision of a still from the BBC video with the viral video.</p></div>

Comparision of a still from the BBC video with the viral video.

(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

The group called "Compassion 4 Kurdistan" organised similar protests in front of the Houses of Parliament, Leicester Square and Downing Street in London, according to Huffington Post. The original video, which was posted on YouTube and the page created on Facebook have now been removed.

A photograph of the play uploaded by Huffington Post showed officers of the Metropolitan Police standing next to the same man who was seen auctioning the women.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A photograph of the play uploaded by Huffington Post.</p></div>

A photograph of the play uploaded by Huffington Post.

(Photo: Huffington Post/Screenshot)

We also found that the video was also shared back in 2019 with a claim that Hindu women were being lured by ‘love jihad’ and then taken to Syria and auctioned. The Quint's WebQoof team had debunked the claim back then.

A British Political Party called Britain First had also shared the video in 2016 with a misleading claim that said, "London Muslims auctioning women on the streets of our capital", and it was debunked by fact-checking organisation Snopes.

However, it is true that women and children have once again become the worst casualty under the Taliban. Several women have spoken about their fears and how their rights are once again snatched away from them.

But this video is of a street play in London and not from Afghanistan.


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Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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