French court summons Tariq Ramadan after he reveals identity of accuser

Tariq Ramadan

Tariq Ramadan has been summoned to appear at the Paris Criminal Court on June 24 for revealing the identity of one of the women who accused him of rape.

The prosecution has accused him of violating Article 39 of the law on Freedom of the Press, which prohibits “disseminating… information concerning the identity of a victim of an assault or a sexual assault” without her written consent.

Ramadan revealed the identity of the woman in his latest book and also during a media interview in September. The offence is liable to a fine of 15,000 euros.

The Swiss theologian is under investigation for the sexual assault of six women, charges he denies.

In his book titled The Duty of Truth, published in French on September 11, Ramadan cites the real name of one of the complainants 84 times. Nicknamed “Christelle” in the media, she has accused him of a rape committed in a hotel room in Lyon in October 2009.

The prosecution also summoned the publisher of the book, the Presses du Châtelet, to appear in the court.

Ramadan will also be judged for having cited the name of the woman twice during an interview on September 6 on the BFTMV news channel, as well as on the website containing the press release on the publication of his book.

“Mr. Ramadan has deliberately made the choice to scare the complainants by provoking harassment against my client,” said Eric Morain, the lawyer for “Christelle”. “Frightening the victims to incite them to shut up and hide themselves should no longer be an alternative,” he added.

His client had attempted to have the book’s release banned but a court considered that her identity had already been made public and that the request “would unduly and disproportionately impair the freedom of expression” of Tariq Ramadan, according to the judgment.

Tariq Ramadan and his lawyers have yet to comment on this latest development.

He is currently banned from leaving France while court cases against him for sexual assault are still ongoing.

He was indicted on February 13 for the rape of two new women having already been pursued in four other sexual assault cases. No criminal charges against him have been proven.

Ramadan has said he believes the proceedings are only there to “muzzle” him as an outspoken critic of French Islamophobia and foreign policy.

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