Al Shabaab militants have not yet released the Cuban doctors they abducted on April 12, 2019 and news reports claiming that they have left captivity is FAKE news.
On Wednesday, 7th October, 2020, several news outlets including the mainstream media reported that the two doctors, Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez, had been released.
However, representatives of both the Kenyan government and the Cuban government denied the reports, which were first shared on Twitter by Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodríguez.
The doctors, by the time of their abduction, were under Kenyan territory, which remained non-committal on the issue.
“We have not received any news about the release of the Cuban doctors,” government Spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said.
Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry Press Director Juan Antonio Fernandez denied the reports, only assuring that efforts were being put in place to liberate the medics.
“I deny the information circulating about the alleged liberation of the two kidnapped Cuban doctors, Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodriguez Hernandez. Considerable efforts are ongoing to ensure their freedom and their safe and healthy return to our country,” said Fernandez.
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Bruno Rodríguez, who was the first to share the news, later retweeted a tweet by a Cuban media outlet, Minrex, that carried Mr Fernandez’s message. This was an indication that he endorsed the message.
Business Today, however, looked into the news claiming that the two Cuban doctors abducted on 12th April, 2019 had been released, and found it to be FAKE.
[ This story was produced by Business Today in partnership with Code for Africa’s iLAB data journalism programme, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie ].