OPERATED BY CEJ

Misleading

FACT-CHECKED

by CEJ |

The UN has not declared Imran Khan ‘Sadiq and Ameen’

On July 1, 2024, posts circulating on social media claimed that the UN declared PTI founder Imran Khan “sadiq and ameen”. However, a report from a UN subsidiary only commented on his legal cases and not his moral character.

Claim

UN declares Imran Khan as ‘Sadiq and Ameen’

Rating Justification

The iVerify Pakistan team has reviewed this content and determined that it is misleading.

To reach this conclusion, the iVerify team thoroughly reviewed the opinion report by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) to corroborate whether it declared PTI founder Imran Khan as “sadiq and ameen” (truthful and honest).

Multiple posts circulating on social media on July 2, 2024, claimed that the UN declared Imran “sadiq and ameen.” However, no such declaration was found in a June 18 report by the UN working group on detention and instead, it only gave its opinion on the former prime minister’s detention and legal cases.

In December 2017, the chief justice of Pakistan at the time rejected a PML-N leader’s petition for Imran’s disqualification on the allegation of not declaring his assets to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The verdict was seen as an endorsement of Imran’s character by the Supreme Court bench of the time and worn as a proverbial badge of honour by the PTI chief.

Meanwhile, his former ally Jahangir Tareen was found to be dishonest under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution. Article 62(1)(f) — which sets the precondition for the head of government to be “sadiq and ameen” — had led to the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in the July 2017 judgement on the Panama Papers case.

Imran is currently serving out his sentence in the Iddat case at Adiala Jail. His sentences in two Toshakhana cases against him were suspended while the Islamabad High Court acquitted him in the cipher case.

On July 1, a WGAD opinion surfaced which questioned the nature of Imran’s legal proceedings, declared them to be without any legal basis and recommended the government to immediately release him.

HOW IT STARTED

On July 1, 2024, an X user, who appears to be a PTI supporter based on his past posts, said: “After the Supreme Court, the United Nations declared Imran Khan as Sadiq and Ameen.”

The claim received more than 42,000 views.

Another post by a PTI supporter with the same caption gained 11,000 views.

The post was also shared on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and TikTok here, here, here and here.

METHODOLOGY

A fact check was initiated to determine the veracity of the claim due to its virality and keen public interest in the matter since it pertained to Imran, the nature of the cases against him and the fairness of his legal proceedings.

An investigation of the WGAD opinion report yielded nothing in it declaring Imran to be “sadiq and ameen”.

The opinion commented on the legal, technical and procedural nature of the cases against the PTI founder and pointed out irregularities and discrepancies it saw according to international principles.

“Mr Khan’s arrest, detention and prosecution in the first Toshakhana case and the cipher case were without any legal basis and would appear to be politically motivated to exclude his participation in the election,” the working group said, before recommending the government to release the former premier immediately, pay him compensation and to take measures against those responsible for the violation of his rights.

At no point, however, did the opinion comment or make remarks about Imran’s moral or personal character or make any declaration about whether he was honest and truthful or not.

The same observation was corroborated by media reporting on the opinion, which too highlighted the group’s remarks on the nature of Imran’s legal proceedings and its recommendations but there was no mention in any news report of him being declared “sadiq and ameen”.

FACT-CHECK STATUS: MISLEADING

The claim regarding the UN declaring Imran Khan as “sadiq and ameen” is misleading.

While social media posts by those supportive of the PTI might have been celebratory and meant that the report vindicated Imran by saying the two of the cases against him were without legal basis and politically motivated and therefore used “sadiq and ameen” in a rhetorical sense, the usage of these terms can still serve to misguide the public.

This is because “sadiq and ameen” are not casual words in Pakistan’s context but specific legal terms grounded in the Constitution. Politicians have been disqualified before as well for not being found “sadiq and ameen” by the courts and thus this determination is not one to be used casually.

Furthermore, the UN cannot declare someone, or Imran, to be “sadiq and ameen” since the phrase is particular to Pakistan’s legal and judicial discourse so a global organisation such as the UN would have no reason to use it.

The report by the UN working group only passed procedural remarks about Imran’s legal cases and their shortcomings and did not comment on his personal character.

Evidence and References

June 18, 2024, opinion of UN Working Group on Arbitrary
Detention regarding Imran Khan:
https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/documents/issues/detention-wg/opinions/session99/a-hrc-wgad-2024-22-pakistan-aev.pdf