Twitter user @SangeetSagar13 recently shared a picture and wrote, “Safiya Firozi, one of the four lady pilots of the Afghan Air Force. Stoned to death in public this morning.” (Archive link)

Another user @rakesh_bstpyp, who describes himself as a ‘nationalist’ writer, also made the same claim while sharing this picture. (Archive link)

A screenshot of the aforementioned tweet by @SangeetSagar13 is widespread on Facebook. Apart from this, Alt News also received a request to investigate the photo on our WhatsApp number (76000 11160).


We performed a reverse image search which led us to a news report from 2018 stating that three years had passed since the Farkhunda lynching in Kabul. According to the report, locals gathered in front of the Farkhunda memorial to commemorate the third year since the lynching of an innocent young woman. The crowd also carried posters condemning crimes against women like Farkhunda, Rukhshana, Shukria Tabasum, victims of the Mirzaolang massacre, and several others who were harassed, tortured, and murdered. One of the posters seen in the photo accompanying this article resembles the woman in the image in question.

We also came across a video story by The New York Times dated December 26, 2015, through a keyword search. Here, the narrator can be heard saying, “Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year-old Muslim woman, was killed after being falsely accused of burning the Quran. The incident was witnessed and recorded by thousands of people.”

A BBC report from May 2015 states that Farkhunda Malikzada had died on March 19. Investigations revealed that she had been wrongly accused of burning the Quran. 49 people were arrested in this case, out of which 19 were police officers.

According to the report, “Three men were sentenced to 20 years in prison, eight to 16 years in prison, and a minor was sentenced to 10 years in prison. 11 police officers were also sentenced to one year each for failing to provide security to Farkhunda.”

Farkhunda Malikzada has been misidentified as Safia Ferozi in viral posts. Ferozi rose to prominence for being Afghanistan’s second female pilot. Ferozi and her family fled Kabul in the 1990s. And after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, they had returned to Kabul. We could not find any credible report to corroborate Safia’s purported death.

The name of Afghanistan’s first female pilot is Niloofar Rahmani, who recently urged audiences to not believe the Taliban’s propaganda on women’s rights.

Therefore, an old image of a different woman was falsely circulated as Afghanistan’s female pilot Safia Ferozi getting stoned to death by the Taliban.

About the Author

She specializes in information verification, examining mis/disinformation, social media monitoring and platform accountability. Her aim is to make the internet a safer place and enable people to become informed social media users. She has been a part of Alt News since 2018.