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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 April 2018

Tariq Ramadan’s alleged victim ‘beaten at home’

The woman, known as Marie, was the third person to file a rape complaint against the Islamic scholar

Tariq Ramadan, an Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, has been detained in France since early February over charges of rape and sexual assault. (AP)
Tariq Ramadan, an Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, has been detained in France since early February over charges of rape and sexual assault. (AP)

The third woman to accuse Tariq Ramadan of rape has said she was beaten at her home shortly after filing her complaint against the Islamic scholar.

The French Muslim woman, who wants to remain anonymous and uses the pseudonym "Marie", claims two men forced their way into the lobby of her building on March 25.

Marie was beaten up and her mobile phone was stolen during the assault, according to Henda Ayari, who was the first woman to accuse Mr Ramadan of rape. Ms Ayari is close to Marie and reported her story to French magazine Marianne this week.

The attack is said to have happened three weeks after Marie made a formal complaint claiming to have suffered multiple rapes in France, Brussels and London between 2013 and 2014 at the hands of the scholar.

Mr Ramadan, an Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, has been detained in France since early February over charges of rape and sexual assault.

He denies all the charges and claims they are part of a “campaign of lies launched by [his] adversaries”.

Marie filed a complaint about the alleged assault at her home on the evening of March 25. According to a copy of the complaint seen by French media, Marie claims to have been grabbed at her throat, sprayed with water and verbally abused. “Next time it will be gasoline,” the men are reported as saying, before running away.

Mr Ramadan’s other alleged victims have also claimed they were threatened or attacked by people loyal to the scholar after their accusations against him went public.

"I'm followed... it's obvious that they know my address,” Ms Ayari, 41, told Marianne.

"Last month, they deflated the tires of my car, and two days ago, my windshield was broken," she added.

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Read more:

New evidence in rape case undermines Tariq Ramadan’s alibi

‘I am totally innocent’: New Tariq Ramadan video

New sexual assault complaint against Tariq Ramadan in the US

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Ms Ayari, who came forward against Mr Ramadan last October, was placed under police protection towards the end of last year after receiving death threats and insults on social media and by people ringing her at home, her lawyer said. But she remains very worried about her safety. "I know very well that I am in danger, and watched,” she told Marianne.

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 known as Christelle, alleges that Mr Ramadan raped and beat her in a hotel in the southeastern city of Lyon in 2009.

Ms Ayari warned that other witnesses or victims may be too scared to speak up because of threats or pressure on them. “If other women do not dare to file a complaint, it is because of that," she said.

It was also reported this week that Mr Ramadan, 55, paid a Belgian-Moroccan woman to stay silent about their relationship back in 2015.

Belgian judiciary said on Thursday that a payment of €27,000 (Dhs 121,000) was made in Brussels to the woman, Majda Bernoussi, after she wrote online about his “psychological grip" on her.

The agreement provided that Ms Bernoussi deleted her online posts and refrained from posting any new ones, in return for the sum of money, AFP reported.

Ms Bernoussi, who has not accused him of rape or sexual assault, also agreed to stop sending “offensive or threatening messages” to Mr Ramadan as part of the agreement, French news website Mediapart said.