Supporters of the Oxford professor, accused of rape by two women, have claimed he is suffering from multiple sclerosis
Tariq Ramadan’s state of health ‘compatible with his continued detention’
Tariq Ramadan, the rape-accused Islamic scholar who has been in custody in France since February 2, will remain in jail after a medical report showed his state of health is compatible with his continued detention.
Mr Ramadan’s lawyers had claimed his health deteriorated since he was detained in a Paris jail on rape charges. Based on an initial medical examination last week, they argued that his condition was “not compatible” with imprisonment.
Supporters of the Oxford University professor, whose grandfather founded the Muslim Brotherhood movement, said on Saturday that he had been taken to hospital for treatment of multiple sclerosis.
However, on Monday, the new medical report ordered by the French court found his health was compatible with him remaining in prison, French newspaper Le Monde reported.
The revelation of the diagnosis of Mr Ramadan’s previously unknown condition last week was seen in some quarters as being part of an explicit media strategy by his supporters. At the same time that the medical news was shared, a video was released of his wife, Iman Ramadan, in which she claimed that her husband had “had full confidence in justice and unfortunately [had] justice wronged him.”
She claimed that his family have not been allowed to visit or communicate with him by phone. “I’m not sure right now that he’s receiving a fair and just treatment,” she said.
French newspaper Liberation claimed that the release of the two new pieces of information showed “a diabolically efficient sense of timing by Mr Ramadan’s supporters”.
Mr Ramadan, 55, has been charged with two alleged rapes after a string of damning accusations were made against him last year.
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.
A judge ordered he should be detained ahead of his trial, based on fears that he could potentially flee the country and also to protect the women who had testified against him.
Mr Ramadan, who took a 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 90,000 people.