05/23/2018, 10.11
FRANCE - ISLAM
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Rape accused Muslim intellectual Tariq Ramadan to remain in prison

The French appeal judges reject his lawyers request for release on bail. The prison regime is compatible with his illness and the necessary treatment. Judges believe there is a risk of his fleeing, a recurrence of the crime and pressure on the victims. The campaign promoted for his release is losing supporters.

Paris (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Paris Appeals Court yesterday rejected afternoon the request lodged by lawyers of the Muslim theologian and intellectual Tariq Ramadan for his release on bail. The academic is accused of sexual violence by four women and has been in prison since last February. During the hearing - in which the 55-year-old Islamologist of Swiss origin was not present - the defence spoke of his health problems and denounced the "contradictions" among witnesses.

"Ramadan has nothing to do in jail," said Emmanuel Marsigny, one of his lawyers. "He should be released. We have proposed a bail - the lawyer added – house arrest, the withdrawal of his passport. All this seems sufficient and necessary". "There is no reason - he concluded - to continue the precautionary custody regime against Tariq Ramadan".

On 4 May, the judges had once again rejected the request for release, judging his illness (multiple sclerosis) compatible with the prison regime and the treatment he needs. The attorney general insists on his staying in prison to ensure that the Muslim intellectual remains in France, that he does not reiterate crimes and that he does not exert pressure on the victims.

The investigation began last October following the denunciation of two women, in the wake of the Henry Weinstein scandal [the film producer accused of repeated violence against actresses, ed] exploded in the United States. The first official interrogation against Ramadan is scheduled for June 5th. For the first time, he will sit before the judges to answer charges against him. In recent months, his supporters have promoted a campaign called "Free Tariq Ramadan", denouncing what they call the victims’ "lies". However, this initiative has lost impetous over time largely due to the details of the case that are emerging.

Tariq Ramadan, 55, a Swiss of Egyptian family (he was born in Geneva), is the nephew of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Hasan al-Banna, an organization in power in Egypt in the recent past with former President Morsi, but today declared outlaws. He is very popular in Muslim conservative circles, while he is the object of strong criticism from the secular world which considers him an extremist.

According to rumors he is accused of pursuing a radical Islamic infiltration project and being anti-Semitic. Allegations that he has always strongly rejected, as well as covering the radical circles of the faith of Muhammad and pushing young Muslim women to wear the veil.

 

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