Picture shows sick prisoners in Ivory Coast -- not Nigeria

An image of four emaciated men has been shared thousands of times on Facebook alongside claims that they are prisoners in Nigeria. This is false; in reality, it shows starved inmates at Dimbokro prison in Ivory Coast.

This collage, shared nearly 3,000 times on Facebook since it was first posted on April 14, 2020, claims to juxtapose Nigerian and American prisoners, suggesting that the former are malnourished while the latter are well looked after. 

The picture has also been used elsewhere on blogs and online newspapers in Nigeria, including here, here and here.

A screenshot taken on July 29, 2020 showing the misleading post

While there have been reports showing the dilapidated state of prisons in the country, including a popular undercover report on Lagos prisons, this picture being circulated online does not show Nigerian inmates. 

What do the pictures show?

Reverse image searches revealed that the second picture with people dressed in orange uniforms was indeed shot inside a US prison in December 2014 by a photographer for the Reuters news agency

The same exercise using a cropped version of the first image, showing the four men without shirts, brought up images of sick inmates at Dimbokro prison in Ivory Coast.

AFP Fact Check found the earliest version of this picture was posted online in August 2006 by independent non-profit news agency The New Humanitarian, formerly IRIN News, which was founded by the United Nations in 1995 to cover crises and disasters.

The picture of the men was shared alongside a report by the UN peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast highlighting overcrowded and unsanitary prisons in the country, with many prisoners suffering from severe malnutrition.

Screenshot of a 2006 UN report on the state of prisons in Ivory Coast, including Dimbokro where the picture was taken

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