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This video does not show Taliban hanging a man from a Black Hawk helicopter

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A video accompanied by a post is being widely shared on social media claiming that the Taliban had hung a man from United States’ Black Hawk Helicopter. The video shows a man dangling from the helicopter. The post even claims that the Taliban is now flying a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter over Kandahar. Let us fact-check the claim made in the post.

Claim: Video of Taliban hanging a man from a Black Hawk Helicopter.

Fact: The man in the video is from the Taliban who was trying to install the Taliban flag near the governor’s building in Kandahar. Whether the helicopter being flown by the Afghan pilot is a Black Hawk helicopter is not yet confirmed by the US Department of Defense. On 31 August 2021, the United States of America had completed the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan. According to reports, the United States military had disabled 73 aircraft, 27 Humvees, weapons systems, and other high-tech defence equipment before boarding the final flight from Kabul. The atrocities and human rights violations by the Taliban in Afghanistan are well known across the world, but this video is an unrelated one. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

When reverse image search is done on the screenshots of the video, a tweet was found. The Tweet was made by an Afghani journalist named Bilal Sarwary, who countered the claim made through another tweet that the Taliban was hanging somebody from an American Black Hawk. The Journalist says that the Afghan pilot was known to him and that he confirmed to him that he flew the Black Hawk helicopter. The Taliban person seen was ‘trying to install Taliban flag from air but it didn’t work in the end.’

Over 2-minute video tweeted by the Afghan News Agency Asvaka shows similar visuals of a man dangling from a helicopter. The tweet says the helicopter was Black Hawk which was flying over the governor’s office in Kandahar.

Several videos were found on social media with the helicopter and a man dangling from it. The visuals can be seen here, here, and here. None of these visuals discuss a man hanging from the helicopter. A larger and clearer 52-second video shows the man waving his hands while he was dangling from the helicopter.

Washington Post’s Fact checker Glenn Kessler had tweeted about this viral claim and stated that Taliban supposedly hanging a man from a Black Hawk helicopter was made-up. It is ‘apparently a Taliban militant hanging from a rope with a Taliban flag’.

A BBC article on the BBC News Afghanistan live page about the same video said that it was a failed attempt to fix a flag over a building. ‘Further footage and still photographs seen by the BBC show that the man flying over the city of Kandahar is very much alive. These images show him wearing the Blackhawk helicopters’ diver’s winch and waving the Taliban flag.’ According to the Hindustan Times article, the man dangling from the helicopter was fixing a flag.

A fact-check article written by Snopes regarding the same claim say that the video ‘appears to show a Black Hawk helicopter previously being used by Afghan Air Force’. But it says that the Department of Defense in the United States had not yet commented on the video.

On 31 August 2021, the United States of America had completed the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban then declared victory and independence and took control of the Kabul airport. According to reports, the United States military had disabled 73 aircraft, 27 Humvees, weapons systems and other high-tech defence equipment before boarding the final flight from Kabul.

The atrocities and human rights violations by the Taliban in Afghanistan are well known across the world, even recent reports (here and here) clearly show their brutality. However, according to available evidence, this video cannot be linked to their brutality recently.

To sum it up, this video does not show Taliban hanging a man from a Black Hawk helicopter.

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