Email to Albanian Embassy to Germany

A couple of days ago, I identified an error in an article on the front page of the most recent edition of Die Zeit, which was delivered to my home as a subscriber. The article has not yet appeared on the Zeit Online website. The author claimed that domestic violence was not a crime in Albania until 2012, which, as I pointed out, was clearly wrong. I sent a tweet with a link to my blog entry to Jochen Wegner and Sabine Rückert of Die Zeit informing them of the error.



Since then, I haven't heard from them. So I decided to let the Albanian government know about the error. Here is the email I sent them:

To the Albanian Embassy to Germany,

I am a resident of Germany whose native language is English. I am also fluent in German. I write to inform you that a leading German weekly newspaper, 'Die Zeit', has printed incorrect information about the Albanian government's efforts to combat domestic violence.

On the front page of the 13 August 2015 issue of 'Die Zeit' is an article entitled 'Bitte Umdenken' by Elisabeth Raether which criticizes many aspects of Albanian government policy. In particular, the article accuses the Albanian government of not doing enough to combat domestic violence in your country. The author states that 'Die Kanun prägt sogar die heutige Rechtssprechung. Erst seit dre Jahren ist häusliche Gewalt eine Straftat.' Translation: ‚The Kanun influences current jurispridence. Domestic violence was made a crime only three years ago.‘ I have attached a photograph of this article to this email to permit you to verify the accuracy of my quotation and translation.

As you surely know, the statement that domestic violence was legal in Albania until 2012 is false. Albania passed a law specifically addressing domestic violence in 2007, and even before that time, acts of domestic violence could be punished under ordinary criminal-code provisions dealing with assault.

I pointed out this error on my blog on Saturday, 15 August: [link]. I also sent a tweet to several editors of ‘Die Zeit’ at that time informing them of the error. As of this time I have not received a reply.

Since this factual error on the title page of a newspaper with a weekly circulation of over 500,000 misrepresents the Albanian government’s policy on domestic violence, I thought you might wish to establish contact with ‘Die Zeit’ and request a formal correction. If you would like more information, please let me know.


Andrew Hammel


I'll let you know if I get a response from any of the interested parties.

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