Saturday, October 23, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021
HomeFact checkNewsArif Aajakia’s Recent Tweet About Cynthia Ritchie Is Misleading

Arif Aajakia’s Recent Tweet About Cynthia Ritchie Is Misleading

Claim 

A tweet posted on 12 June 2020 claims that Cynthia Ritchie rode a bicycle in Pakistan and said that she felt safe doing so in April 2018. She was raped and sexually assaulted by multiple officials in Pakistan, but scared for her life she kept quiet for nine years. 

The above claim is posted with two different images of Ricthie.

The same claim was posted by other users on Twitter and Facebook

Fact Check

The tweet in context makes a claim about Cynthia Dawn Ritchie, who describes herself as a writer, director, and producer on her social media accounts. The claim reads as follows: 

Cynthia Ritchie: Pakistan is very secure for women, I rode bicycle in this country & felt so safe-Twitter April 2018.

I was sexually assaulted and raped by multiple officials and ministers in Pakistan, kept quiet for 9 years because I was scared for my life -Twitter June 2020. 

This claim comes after Ritchie accused Pakistan’s former interior minister of raping her and former PM Yousaf Raza Gilani of physically manhandling her. Both these politicians are part of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). While the ministers have denied her allegations, Ritchie is ready to defend her claims in the court of law, states this DW report

On 5 June, 2020, Ritchie did a live Facebook video in which she detailed her allegations against ministers of the PPP.  Related details can be read in the news reports linked here and here

To the above mentioned claim, Ritchie responded via a tweet on 16 June, 2020. In her response she says that the image of her on a bike is from a short film she did in 2015 and that local media used this image out of context. Read her tweet below: 

Through a Facebook search we found a post by Ricthie from October, 2015 which includes the short film she’s referring to in her response tweet. She can be seen cycling at 1:01 minute in the video posted below. The bike scene in the video matches the image posted in the claim. 

https://www.facebook.com/cynthiadritchie/videos/818702788228216/

For further confirmation we contacted Cynthia Ricthie who clarified that she’s never said anything mentioned in the claim. Read her response to us below:

I never said that. He is taking what I’ve said, manipulating the words and using the images out of context. 

I’ve accused one man of rape and others of manhandling/assault – some accounts have been documented by authorities but not released to public, yet. 

Keep in mind this man’s current and previous political history.

Regarding the second image in the claim, we found that it was taken from Ritchie’s Facebook live on 5 June. You can watch the full video linked below:

https://www.facebook.com/cynthiadritchie/videos/3012638535481275/

Conclusion

The claim made in Aajakia’s tweet which implies that Cynthia Ritchie spoke about riding a bicycle in Pakistan and feeling safe as well as being raped by multiple officials in Pakistan is misleading. While she did accuse one minister of rape and other ministers of manhandling her in Pakistan, she never expressed the words mentioned in the tweet. 

Also, the image of Ritchie on a bicycle is from 2015 and used out of context in the claim. Ritchie’s confirmation to us via email and related materials linked in this story make it clear that the claim in context is misleading and false. 

Tools Used 

  •  Google advanced search
  • Twitter advanced search

Result: Misleading and False

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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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