‘I am totally innocent’: New Tariq Ramadan video
The Oxford University professor was detained on February 2 over charges that he raped two women in France
Tariq Ramadan, the prominent Islamic scholar who is being investigated for rape and sexual assault, has protested his innocence in a new video.
The 10-minute clip, published by French news website The Muslim Post, dates back to mid-November although it has only just come to light now.
“I would like to begin by saying that I am totally innocent of the crimes I am accused of,” Mr Ramadan declares in the video.
“With time, we will know who has said the truth, who has lied, and, ultimately, who is innocent,” he continued. He also repeated his claim to be the subject of a smear campaign by his enemies.
Mr Ramadan, an Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, was detained on February 2 over charges he raped two women in France.
His two initial accusers went to police in late October, both alleging that he had raped them in French hotel rooms. The video clip appears to have been filmed shortly after that.
Henda Ayari, 41, said she decided to accuse him publicly after the "Me Too" campaign against sexual abuse and harassment encouraged her to speak out.
Ms Ayari, a feminist activist who previously practised a conservative strain of Islam, says Mr Ramadan raped her in a Paris hotel room in 2012.
The second accuser, a disabled woman, alleges that Mr Ramadan raped her and beat her in a hotel in the southeastern city of Lyon in 2009.
Two weeks ago, a third woman came forward to accuse Mr Ramadan of rape. The French Muslim woman, who wants to remain anonymous and uses the pseudonym "Marie", claims to have suffered multiple rapes in France, Brussels and London between 2013 and 2014.
A complaint has also recently emerged in the US, according to French media. French newspaper Libération reported that a woman in Washington, US, has accused Mr Ramadan of sexually assaulting her in an incident dating back to 2013.
Mr Ramadan, who denies all the claims, remains in custody in Fleury-Mérogis prison, Essonne, as French authorities judge him a flight risk.
A court dismissed a bid by his lawyers last month to have him released on health grounds.
A professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford, Mr Ramadan has been on leave since November after the allegations emerged.
One of European Islam's best-known figures, he has dismissed the accusations against him as a smear campaign by his enemies and his lawyers argue there are inconsistencies in the women's accounts.
Updated: March 18, 2018 02:09 PM