Routledge Publishing House apologise to Peter Tatchell

Besi Besemar December 3, 2012

Peter Tatchell

The UK publisher Routledge has issued a public apology to Peter Tatchell for 20 “misrepresentations and distortions” and “inaccurate allegations” made by the former Human Rights Watch programme director, Scott Long.

The full and unreserved apology to Peter Tatchell and the LGBT human rights group OutRage! has been made by Roger Horton, the CEO of Routledge’s parent company, Taylor and Francis.

Routledge acknowledges that “substantial inaccuracies” appeared in Mr Long’s essay on Iran which it published in its journal Contemporary Politics.

You can view the Routledge apology at:


This follows an earlier apology by Human Rights Watch over Scott Long’s “inappropriate…disparaging…inaccurate…condemnatory…intemperate personal attacks” on Peter Tatchell.

You can view the Human Rights Watch apology at:


It also follows revelations that appear to link Scott Long with the creation of a fake online Muslim identity that was used to make untrue claims and smear Peter Tatchell.

To see the fake Muslim identity exposed view:


Scott Long’s 20 false allegations, distortions and misrepresentations were made in his notorious essay, Unbearable witness: how western activists (mis)recognise sexuality in Iran, which was published by Routledge in its journal, Contemporary Politics, in March 2009.

For a full rebuttal of Scott Long’s Iran essay view:


At the time of writing the Iran essay, Mr Long was Director of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) programme at Human Rights Watch (HRW). He left HRW in 2010 soon after he was forced by them to apologise for his personal attacks on Peter Tatchell.

Scott Long apologised to Peter Tatchell in 2010 for similar slurs and untrue claims.

He wrote:

“I respect Peter Tatchell’s contribution to human rights and apologise for any condemnatory and intemperate allegations made in haste and for any inaccurate statements.”

To read Mr Long’s apology view:


Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, said:

“These apologies reveal Scott Long to be a serial purveyor of false allegations and smears.”

“Contrary to claims by Mr Long in his Iran essay, neither OutRage! nor I accused a 13 year-old victim of an alleged rape of ‘wanting the rape.’ Nor are we guilty of ‘belittling violent sexual assault, and blaming the victim.’ These are outright fabrications.

“In addition, Mr Long accused us of ‘going after’ British Muslims and adopting a ‘bullying tone’ towards the Muslim community in Britain. This is also untrue. I have always made a clear distinction between Muslim people in general and the Islamist extremists who oppose human rights, including the human rights of fellow Muslims. Indeed, I have often defended Muslim communities, in Britain and worldwide, against prejudice and persecution. I will continue to do so.

“The Routledge apology concerns factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations, not mere criticisms or differences of opinion.

“Mr Long has every right to criticise me. But he does not have the right to indulge in distortions and false allegations.

“His essay in Contemporary Politics is full of misrepresentation and untrue claims. It is poorly researched and exhibits shoddy, low standards of scholarship, lacking evidence on many key points.

“The sustained and systematic nature of the misrepresentation looks malicious.

“Mr Long has done fine human rights work in the past. I have never attacked or disparaged his efforts. The personal attacks are one-sided, from him. I am merely defending myself. It is a tragedy that he has gone to such extraordinary, disreputable lengths to undermine me and other campaigners.

“Sectarian smears against fellow human rights defenders are indefensible. We should support each other in our shared commitment to universal human rights.

“My gratitude to Roger Horton and Routledge for this apology. Their willingness to acknowledge the wrong done is laudable.”