Corrections to our publications

Human Rights Watch strives to maintain the highest level of accuracy in our reporting. We cannot reply individually to all corrections requests, but all such requests that specify the exact nature of the alleged inaccuracy and the publication (title, page number / web address and date) in which it appeared will be reviewed. If you believe you have found an inaccuracy in our materials, please contact us.

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Recent Corrections

  • Rights in Retreat

    Acknowledgments were not included in the original report, "Rights in Retreat, Abuses in Crimea" report published November 17, 2014. The report has now been updated to include an Acknowledgments section.

    The November 2014 report, “Rights in Retreat: Abuses in Crimea,” incorrectly provided the number of cases documented by Human Rights Watch in which Crimean Tatars or pro-Ukraine activists were forcibly disappeared, abducted, or went missing as “at least 15 cases”. The correct number is 14.  

  • Gaza: Airstrike Deaths Raise Concerns on Ground Offensive

    In a news release published on July 22, 2014, Human Rights Watch stated incorrectly that all five members of the Ghannam family killed in an airstrike on their home in Rafah on July 11 were civilians, according to family members and local residents. However, an armed group, the Quds Brigades, has claimed that one of the casualties, Mahmoud Ghannam, 28, was a member. Because Human Rights Watch has been unable to determine his rank or role in the Quds Brigade, his military significance cannot be determined, which is necessary for determining the lawfulness of the attack under the laws of war – so the case has been omitted from the news release.

  • Illusion of Justice

    The July 2014 report Illusion of Justice did not acknowledge Jeanne Theoharis, professor of political science at Brooklyn College, for her input and support. The report has been updated to include Theoharis in the acknowledgements.

  • Shattered Dreams

    Human Rights Watch’s May 2014 report “Shattered Dreams” in the Methodology section omitted a number of civil society actors that were interviewed for the report. The list has now been completed by including Provivienda, Housing Rights Watch-FEANTSA (European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless), member organizations of the Taula d’entitats del Tercer Sector Social de Catalunya, and ClinHab, a legal clinic consultation service at the University of Barcelona’s law school, as well as economists on page 12. Mr Guillem Fernàndez of Housing Rights Watch-FEANTSA was also added to the Acknowledgements section on page 81.

  • “They Know Everything We Do”

    In the March 2014 report, a sentence on page 73 could be read to suggest that the Awramba Times or HornAffairs were implicated in the leak of Tadesse Kersmo’s Skype conversation. This was not the case and the sentence has been corrected to read: “One of the group conversations that he had on Skype with Ginbot leaders during the time of his infection was published on June 20, 2013.”

  • Whose Development?

    Multiple corrections were made to the report:

    1. Page 20, revised paragraph: A holdover from the pre-colonial and colonial eras, paramount chiefs, who have historically administered land outside of Freetown, play a critical role in land-use policy implementation." The paramount chief is elected for a life term, and candidates for the position are limited to and appointed by members of local ruling houses.
    2. Page 21, revised paragraphs: But questions remain as to whether the chiefs are truly representing residents in facilitating the leasing of land. In recent years, however, numerous conflicts over land have arisen because chiefs, directed by government, appear to have participated in the leasing of land without fully consulting with local residents or gaining their consent.
    3. Page 22, revised paragraphs:"But, in practice, at least in Tonkolili, the chiefs appear to have played a pivotal role in enforcing land-use decisions, performing a political and economic function, as much as a customary one. Although Sierra Leone's land is owned collectively by families and communities, chiefs increasingly act as if they control the surface of the land, while the minerals beneath belong to the state.
    4. Page 23, revised bullet: 50 percent to the land owners.
    5. Page 26, revised paragraph: When African Minerals began its exploration, the paramount chief of Kalansongoia and the company identified nine villages that would be affected by the company's operations. He helped broker the relocation of the families in three villages, which he did, he said, with their consent.
  • Abused and Expelled

    The February 2014 report did not acknowledge AMDH-Nador for its assistance. The report has been updated to include AMDH-Nador in the acknowledgements.

  • World Report 2014: China

    The 2014 World Report chapter on China contained an error on page 328. It said that “Two people died on the spot, and several others were injured” in a July 6 incident in which “the police opened fire in Nyitso, Dawu prefecture (Ch. Daofu), on a crowd that had gathered in the countryside to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday.” Subsequent reports indicates that there were no fatal casualties, only non-fatal ones.

  • "Between a Drone and Al-Qaeda"

    In the report released on October 22, 2013, Human Rights Watch printed the following errors:

    1. On page 39, the names of the driver and one of the passengers of the Toyota mentioned were reversed in the original text. Ali al-Qawli, 34, was an elementary-school teacher and father of three, and his cousin Salim al-Qawli, 20, was a college student who drove the borrowed Toyota as a car service to earn money for his family.
    2. On page 69, it was originally stated that “only six civilians” survived the strike in Al-Majalah. Human Rights Watch has been informed that potentially more than six survived the strike.
  • "Letting the Big Fish Swim"

    The report released on October 21, 2013 contained errors regarding two corruption scandals.

    1. On page 1, the date of the Global Fund scandal was corrected from 2010 to 2005.
    2. On page 18, the amount of the Global Fund scandal was corrected to read $4.5 million and the amount of the GAVI fund scandal was corrected to read $800,000. That the sentence now reads: "In 2005, health ministry officials allegedly embezzled over $4.5 million from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Mid-level managers faced prosecutions but the implicated ministers resigned only to return recently to key posts in government. In 2007 the Inspectorate of Government detected an estimated $800,000 million missing from the GAVI Alliance under the responsibility of the Ministry of Health." A new footnote was inserted to quote the figure of the Global Fund: "The Global Fund, The Office of the Inspector General, "Follow up review of the Global Fund grants to Uganda," September 9, 2009, on file with Human Rights Watch and the Lowenstein Clinic, p. 6."
    3. On page 50, the same incorrect dollar amount for the Global Fund scandal was corrected to $4.5 million.

    The Human Rights Watch press release of October 21, 2013, now reflects the above corrections: “Other scandals have rocked health programs, like the US$4.5 million diverted from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in 2005, and the US$800,000 stolen from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations in 2006.”