[Update: 10 pm] This story had been updated to include the apparent source of the confrontation caught on video.
ver the weekend, a shocking video circulated widely on WeChat circles and Twitter claiming to show a foreign man being beaten to death on the street in China by the disapproving father and brother of his Chinese girlfriend.
The clip was first spread to the public at large by Pakistani journalist Ali Arif on Twitter and claimed to show the killing of Usama Ahmad Khan, a Pakistani student studying in Shenyang, Liaoning province. In the disturbing footage, “Usama” can be seen lying face-down on a pedestrian crossing while being pummeled with blows by two men as a young woman cries and seems to try to stop the beating.
During the 37-second video, a number of pedestrians and drivers pass by the scene, but no stops to intervene.
After Twitter, the footage soon found its way to WeChat and blew up among groups of foreigners in China with many taking the story behind the clip as fact.
However, on Monday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office stepped forward to say that the person in the video is not Usama Ahmad Khan, explaining that Usama had instead died by suicide in Shenyang where he was studying at the Shenyang Jianzhu University.
“Soon upon receipt of information, Ambassador of Pakistan to China deputed an officer of the Embassy to visit Shenyang. In Shenyang, he met students and faculty of the University as well as the police authorities. Throughout this process, he remained in close contact with the family of the deceased,” the office told the press.
“The video being circulated on social media is not authentic or of Mr. Usama. We call upon the media to exercise caution in such matters, avoid sensationalism and stop spreading fake news.”
I spoke to our Amb in Beijing earlier this morning and he said the video of the Pak student circulating was "not authentic" and a press release had been issued. Tragic. Copy of press statement below: pic.twitter.com/sUseDD3xmR
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) November 19, 2018
So, if this was not a video of a foreigner being killed by the angry father and brother of his Chinese girlfriend, then what was it? According to a local news report, the clip comes from an incident which occurred in the Fujian city of Shishi where a woman, her two brothers, and her husband fought on the street.
The man on the ground is said to be the woman’s husband, angry after his wife said that she was going back to her hometown, and is holding a knife. While there were injuries, no one is reported to have been killed in the clash and the family has apparently reconciled.
The Pakistani journalist who originally spread the video has now taken the clip down, but has not come anywhere close to apologizing, demanding to know more information about Usama’s untimely death and noting that the video is still from China, “in which we can see two men trying to kill and others passing by.”
The Video I posted earlier is not Usama's according to @zlj517 so I am taking it down on China's Clarification. But yes Usama is dead.
Also doesn't change the fact that this VIDEO is from CHINA, in which we can see two men trying to kill and others passing by. pic.twitter.com/ffqjlgHaYy
— Ali Arif 🇵🇰 (@i_aliarif) November 19, 2018