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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Jailed Tariq Ramadan hospitalised in France

The Oxford University professor has been remanded in custody since February 2 charged with two counts of rape

Two Muslim women have accused Ramadan, a 55-year-old Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, of rape. Medhi Fedouach/ AFP Photo
Two Muslim women have accused Ramadan, a 55-year-old Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, of rape. Medhi Fedouach/ AFP Photo

Tariq Ramadan, the prominent Islamic scholar who has been remanded in custody in France since February 2 charged with two alleged rapes, has been hospitalised, his support group said.

Supporters of Mr Ramadan, 55, claim the Oxford University professor is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. He is set to undergo an independent medical evaluation to decide whether he remains in jail in Paris before the trial.

"His state of health is getting worse, particularly since the judges refused to issue a visit permit to his wife and children yesterday," said a person close to Mr Ramadan on Saturday.

Sources close to the Swiss national, whose grandfather founded the Muslim Brotherhood movement, said he would remain in hospital until at least Sunday.

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Read more:

Court orders medical tests as Tariq Ramadan reveals ‘multiple sclerosis’ diagnosis

Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan to remain in custody in France

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Lawyers for Mr Ramadan have said that his health has deteriorated since he was held in prison earlier this month and that his condition was “not compatible” with imprisonment following an initial medical evaluation on Tuesday.

A Paris appeals court, which is examining his appeal against detention, will make their decision on February 22.

Mr Ramadan’s wife, Iman Ramadan, has claimed that his family have not been permitted to visit him in prison or speak with him on the phone.

“I’m not sure right now that he’s receiving a fair and just treatment,” she said in video posted to Facebook.

Mrs Ramadan, who had previously not made any statement about the case, proclaimed her husband’s innocence, adding that he was suffering from a "severe chronic illness" that he was unable to get treatment for in jail.

“I am torn between reading what the press says about him and hide in my bubble waiting justice to be served,” she said.

Two women came forward last year in the wake of the #MeToo campaign and accused the married father of four of rape.

Author Henda Ayari, claimed that she was sexually assaulted by Mr Ramadan at a congress of the Union of Islamic Organisations of France in 2012. A 40-year-old disabled woman, who is known by the alias “Christelle” said the professor attacked her in a hotel in Lyon in 2009.

Mr Ramadan, who took leave of absence from Oxford in November, denies the charges and claims they are part of a “campaign of lies launched by [his] adversaries.”

An online petition set up by his supporters calling for his release has been signed by more than 73,000 people.