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

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

  • 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.
  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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.”

  • 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.
  • 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.