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

  • "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.”

  • DR Congo: M23 Rebels Kill, Rape Civilians

    Human Rights Watch’s news release of July 22 on the Democratic Republic of Congo contained an error. It said that Rwandan soldiers had served with the peacekeeping contingent in Somalia and Darfur. In fact, Rwandan peacekeepers served in Darfur but not in Somalia.

    Only one of those we interviewed mentioned Somalia (whereas others mentioned Darfur). We erred in including it because we ordinarily do not rely on only one uncorroborated witness in our publications. This was a mistake on our part. However, more than 50 witnesses, corroborated and cross-checked, confirmed the key findings of our press release about continuing Rwandan support for the M23. These findings are accurate and we fully stand behind them.

  • Libya: Blasphemy Charges Over Election Posters

    Human Rights Watch's June 20 and December 14, 2013 news releases stated incorrectly that article 207 of the Libyan Penal Code criminalizes insults to religion [blasphemy], with punishments up to death. In fact, article 207 instead applies to “promotion of any act against the state order” with punishment up to death. Insulting religion is under article 291, punishable by a prison term.

  • Yemen: Order to Free Hunger Strikers Ignored

    In its news release of June 6, 2013 on Yemen, Human Rights Watch stated incorrectly that on June 4, “prison authorities removed intravenous feeding tubes from the 22 hunger strikers.” The news release has been corrected  to state that on June 4, “22 prisoners removed their intravenous feeding tubes.”

  • Nigeria: Massive Destruction, Deaths From Military Raid

    The Nigeria press release published on May 1, 2013 entitled, “Nigeria: Massive Destruction, Deaths From Military Raid,” incorrectly stated that Senator Maina Lawan said “six” other victims were buried in separate locations. The corrected version online reads: “Senator Maina Lawan, the federal senator representing Baga, told Human Rights Watch, based on a two-day site visit on April 25 and 26, that some 220 people had been buried in three cemeteries, while eight others had been buried in separate locations.” Also, the press release incorrectly stated that “the military team said they visited two graveyards in Baga but could only identify 32 fresh graves.” The corrected version reads: “The government’s National Emergency Management Agency said it visited two graveyards in Baga but could only identify 32 fresh graves.”

  • Laws of Attrition

    The Russia report of April 2013 contains the following errors:

    1. On page 37, the new treason law broadened the definition of treason by “Adding to the list of actions that can constitute state treason the provision of ‘...consultative or other assistance to a foreign state, an international or foreign organization, or their representatives in activities against the security of the Russian Federation.’” The sentence had previously quoted the list of actions that can constitute state treason as, “‘financial, material and technical, consultative or other assistance to a foreign state, an international or foreign organization, or their representatives in activities against the security of the Russian Federation.’”
    2. On page 38, in the sentence, “It includes international organizations among the list of subjects that can be recipients of state secrets, providing that the crime was committed by a foreign citizen or a stateless person,” the clause, “providing that the crime was committed by a foreign citizen or a stateless person” has been omitted.
    3. On page 38, the sentence, “An explicit order from a foreign intelligence service is no longer required in order for the transfer of ‘other’ information (that is, information that does not constitute a state secret) for use against Russia’s security by a foreign national or a stateless person to be considered ‘espionage,’” has been predicated by, “such a transfer made at the behest of an individual ‘acting in the interests’ of a foreign intelligence service can now also be qualified ‘espionage.’”
    4. On page 38, the sentence, “The council said that the law could be used to penalize unintentional actions of a person who was not aware at the time that the information they obtained was deemed a state secret, especially if it was publicly available,” has been omitted.
    5. On page 46, in the sentence, “Additionally, the law prohibited cars decorated with white ribbons or other “protest symbols” from driving on the Garden Ring under threat of a fine of up to 600,000 rubles (approximately US$19,500),” the clause, “under threat of a fine of up to 600,000 rubles (approximately US$19,500),” has been omitted.
  • Saudi Arabia: Huge Obstacles for First Woman Lawyer

    Human Rights Watch’s April 12 news release incorrectly stated that all women in Saudi Arabia require permission from their male guardian to work. Between 2011-2012, the Saudi ministry of labor issued a series of decrees that allowed women to work in certain sectors without first obtaining guardian approval. However, the decrees reinforced strict sex segregation in the workplace, mandating that female workers not interact with men. Some private sector workplaces remain exempt from these decrees.

  • Mexico's Disappeared

    The February 20, 2013 report contained the following errors.

    1. On page 42, the report incorrectly states Mónica Isabel Esquivel Castillo’s co-worker recognized two of three men who abducted her as employees at the factory in Saltillo, Torreon, where they worked. The text now correctly reads that he recognized two men, and that the factory was in Saltillo, Coahuila.
    2. In the text on p. 44, Human Rights Watch incorrectly stated that the abductions of sisters Perla Liliana Pecina Riojas and Elsa Judith Pecina Riojas, together with Elsa’s husband (Wilfredo Álvarez Valdez) and their two year-old child, occurred in Piedras Negras, Coahuila. The corrected text now states that they were abducted in Saltillo, Coahuila, where Pecina and Alvarez’s child was eventually found (footnote 125).
    3. On p. 49, Human Rights Watch incorrectly stated Uribe Hernández’s mother filed a complaint regarding missing evidence. The corrected version states that it was Uribe Hernández’s wife who filed the complaint.
    4. On p. 57, Human Rights Watch incorrectly stated the number of police who were detained under suspicion of their alleged participation in disappearances in Francisco I. Madero, Coahuila, and incorrectly stated that a suspect in the case had been formally charged. The corrected text now reads: “On July 8, prosecutors detained 35 police from Francisco I. Madero for their alleged participation in the June 15 disappearances, nine of whom were later charged in the crime. According to the testimony of a man who allegedly worked for a cartel and was questioned by state prosecutors in connection with the disappearance, the same police officers had also collaborated with members of the Zetas in disappearing Víctor Adrían Rodríguez Moreno, Heber Eusebio Réveles Ramos, and José María Plancarte Sagrero, at the same gas station in Francisco I. Madero, weeks earlier.”
    5. On p. 62 and in footnotes 209 and 281, Human Rights Watch cited an interview with Francisco Aldaco Juárez and incorrectly stated that he is the brother of victim Antonio Jaime Aldaco Juárez. The corrected text and footnotes now state that Antonio Jaime Aldaco Juárez is Francisco’s uncle.
    6. In the Acknowledgements section (page 149), Human Rights Watch incorrectly listed the title of Raúl Vera as archbishop. The text has been amended to list “Bishop Raúl Vera López.”
    7. In the first annex to the report, in the table of disappearances documented by Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch has corrected the locations where several disappearances allegedly occurred. The corrected table now states: the disappearances of Wifredo Álvarez Váldez, Elsa Judith Pecina Riojas, and Perla Liliana Pecina Rojas allegedly occurred in Saltillo, Coahuila; the disappearances of José Ángel Esparza León, Héctor Francisco León García, and Daniel Cantú Iris allegedly occurred in Paredon, Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila; and the disappearances of Brandon Esteban Acosta Herrera, Gualberto Acosta Rodríguez, Geraldo Acosta Rodríguez, and Esteban Geraldo Acosta Rodríguez allegedly occurred in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila.
    8. On footnotes 148, 167 and 183 it incorrectly stated that Alma Garcia was a lawyer. She is a social worker.
  • Race to the Bottom

    The Russia report of February 2013 incorrectly referred to the Migration and Law Network, a program of Memorial Human Rights Center, as "Civic Assistance." The corrected sentences now read:

    1. p. 24: Soon after, Aliev and the other workers approached the Sochi office of the Migration and Law Network, a program of Memorial Human Rights Center, a Russian non-profit organization that provides assistance to migrant workers, in hopes of recouping some of the wages owed to them.
    2. p. 25: Two workers from Uzbekistan who worked for SU-45 on the Main Media center site from November 2011 to February 2012 also filed complaints with the help of the Sochi office of Memorial's Migration and Law Network to the Krasnodar Region prosecutor’s office regarding non-payment of wages and illegal dismissal in July and August 2012.
    3. p. 25: In December 2012, the Sochi office of Memorial's Migration and Law Network appealed to the general prosecutor’s office, which sent the complaint back to the Krasnodar Region prosecutor’s office.
    4. p. 66: Human Rights Watch expresses its gratitude to Semyen Semenov and Svetlana Gannushkina of the Migration and Law Network, a program of Memorial Human Rights Center, and to the staff of ASTRA Anti-Trafficking Action in Serbia, who provided invaluable assistance in the preparation of this report.