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Complainant Name:
Brenda Brown

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Observer


Brenda Brown complained that the newspaper had mistranslated a statement made by Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice. The complainant emphasised the importance of making editorial checks before publication, thus taking care in line with the requirements of Clause 1 (i), and considered the error careless. She was concerned that it could have potentially dangerous results, given the political sensitivity of the Israel/Palestine conflict.


The newspaper explained that a number of people had complained to it directly about the coverage and said that, before receiving the complaint through the Press Complaints Commission, it had already taken steps towards correcting the mistake. It published the following correction online and in print:

Our report on Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal's address to a rally in Gaza City last week contained a significant error. Regrettably, part of his speech was mistranslated as: "We don't kill Jews because they are Jews. We kill the Zionists because they are conquerors and we will continue to kill anyone who takes our land." He actually said: "We don't fight Jews because they are Jews. We fight the Zionists because they are conquerors and we will continue to fight anyone who takes our land" ("'We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone,' says Hamas leader", News).

The newspaper also amended the online article and added suitable a corrective footnote.

Date Published: 18/01/2013

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