Charity denies it misled the public by publishing a harrowing image of a Syrian refugee
Published 18/02/2014 | 12:50
A photo portraying a four year-old Syrian refugee wandering alone in the desert has sparked widespread outrage on Twitter.
The photo showed four-year-old Marwan carrying his worldly possessions in a plastic bag, alone in the desolate Jordanian desert.
The much-shared photo sparked a huge reaction online.
However, it has now emerged that Marwan was not alone in the desert. He was only a short distance from his family.
And Twitter users have criticised UNCHR, the UN Refugee Agency, for not providing the full context for the story.
The photo was originally tweeted by Andrew Harper - a representative of UNCHR, the UN Refugee Agency - from Jordan.
Mr Harper captioned the photo, saying: "Here four year-old Marwan, who was temporarily separated from his family, is assisted by UNHCR staff to cross #Jordan."
CNN news anchor Hala Gorani also tweeted the photo saying: “UN staff found 4 year-old Marwan crossing desert alone after being separated from family fleeing.”
The photo was retweeted thousands of times.
Later yesterday, Mr Harper tweeted: "Just to let you know that Marwan was safely reunited w his mother soon after being carried across the #Jordan border."
"Marwan's story is that he was temporarily separated frm his family in d chaos of the mass @refugees x'ing to #Jordan"
And in response to criticism online, Mr Marwan clarified: "It was never stated that he was alone. News agencies stated that."
Marwan was not alone in the desert. He was only a short distance from his family.
A spokesperson for UNCHR told independent.ie today: "Four year-old Marwan was temporarily separated from his family. UNHCR in Jordan did not state that we was alone."
"Andrew Harper is UNHCR's representative in Jordan. He has commented quite extensively on this today and yesterday."