Scholars, activists call on France to give Tariq Ramadan a fair trial

Tariq Ramadan

Around 150 international scholars, politicians, social activists and journalists have called on the French Justice Minister to grant Professor Tariq Ramadan a speedy and fair trial.

The signatories say what is currently taking place is a “masquerade of justice” with biased judges ignoring crucial evidence and a judicial process which assumes Ramadan is guilty.

The prominent Swiss theologian has been indicted for the alleged rape of four women and has spent 10 months of the last two years in prison.

Ramadan insists all his relationships have been consensual. He is currently prohibited from leaving France and has to report to the police regularly while the judicial process continues.

Here is the statement in full:

This process has gone on far too long by French investigating judges, Camille Guillermet, Camille Palluel and Cyril Paquaux. Their bias, lack of impartiality, neglect of key evidence, delaying of key information and ignoring investigations brought forward by the French Criminal Division has been astonishing. In their role as “investigating judges”, it is surprising that they have chosen to ignore exculpatory evidence and suspicious connections between the plaintiffs and long-time critics of Professor Ramadan.

Let us be clear: We, the signatories of this letter, endorse France’s commitment to uphold the values of “liberté, égalité, fraternité” threatened today around the world. It is not for us to judge Tariq Ramadan’s guilt or innocence. We fully recognise the rights of the plaintiffs to have their case heard without prejudice. However, we wish to remind the country that has affirmed the inalienability of human rights and equality of the importance of respect for the principles that ensure the integrity of French justice.

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It has been two years since professor Ramadan was indicted, nine months of which were spent in pre-trial solitary detention, despite the chief prison medical authority confirming his health was incompatible with incarceration due to illness. Professor Ramadan was also denied access to his case file and thus to the necessary means of preparing his defence. His right to a speedy judicial process has been ignored. Since his release in November 2018, the turn of events has been even more worrying. The following are a few examples:

– The judges mandated an expert psychiatrist, Dr Daniel Zagury, to see if there was a notion of “psychological grip” on the plaintiffs, an extremely rare procedure. The whole case depends now on his report. This is a clear conflict of interest as Dr. Zagury’s is an active member of the pro-Zionist Schibboleth association, which is ideologically opposed to Professor Ramadan. He also has friendly links with the opposing counsel Me Francis Szpiner and Me Eric Morain. We request that he recuse himself immediately.

– The fourth complainant, “Elvira” was completely invalidated by the Criminal Division. The judges and prosecutors continued to hear her complaint until she recanted and it was clearly determined she did not even know Tariq Ramadan. Elvira and Mounia Rabbouj have both publicly stated, on social media, that they have been pushed and manipulated by the Israeli French paparazzi Jean-Claude Elfassi. The Criminal Division discovered that the latter has actually been in touch with the four plaintiffs (he, himself, acknowledged on I24 TV channel he was in touch with the fifth complainant in Switzerland). Surprisingly, after 28 months of investigation, Jean-Claude Elfassi has not been heard by the investigating judges.

– The judges have indicted Tariq Ramadan on the basis of two witnesses whom they have not even questioned, and whom they encouraged to come forward (even though they did not file a complaint).

Has Professor Ramadan been granted the equal treatment so prized by France when high-ranking political figures, artists, and film producers accused of similar offenses have their rights protected like a gold standard? Is there one form of justice for Muslims in France and another for everyone else?

In short, we respectfully ask, has Professor Ramadan benefitted from a fair and equitable legal process, one in which he is presumed innocent until proven guilty?

We appeal to your commitment to France’s reputation as a defender of justice. We trust that as the Minister of Justice you will respond to our appeal and address our concerns that a fair and just process be implemented. In particular, we suggest that if the Magistrates in charge of Tariq Ramadan’s case are not able to properly do their work with the impartiality required by the Judiciary’s code of ethics, they should be removed and replaced by truly impartial judges.

John Esposito, University of Georgetown, USA

Tariq Modood, University of Bristol, UK

Kalypso Nikolaïdis, University of Oxford, UK

Cornel West, University of Harvard, USA

Ms Karen Amstrong, British author and commentator, UK

Charles Taylor, McGill University (Emeritus), Canada

Ilan Pappe, University of Exeter, UK

Ms Mairead Maquire, Peace Nobel Prize Winner, Northern Ireland

Stephen Chan, SOAS, University of London, UK

Richard Falk, Princeton and Queen Mary Universities, USA, UK.

Jørgen S. Nielsen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Khaled Abou el Fadl, UCLA, USA

George Joffé, University of Cambridge & London, UK

Talal Asad, The City University of New York, USA

Dr Aminata Dramane Traoré, former Minister of Culture, Mali

Charles E. Butterworth, Emeritus, University of Maryland, USA

Dr Chandra Muzaffar, Chair, JUST, Malaysia

Dr Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister, Malaysia

Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Chair IAIS, Malaysia.

Bock-Yong Kim, President of Hanil University, Korea

Dr François Burgat, CNRS, France

Salman Sayyid, University of Leeds, UK

Mr Boubacar Boris Diop, writer, novelist, journalist, Senegal

Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun (Emeritus), Université de Paris, France

Sami Al-Arian, Istanbul Zaim University, Turkey

Osman Bakar, ISTAC-IIUM, Malaysia

Alassane Diedhiou, Vice-Rector, University Assane Seck, Senegal

Oumar Sy, University Assane Seck, Senegal

Sari Hanafi, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Humayun Ansari, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

Adil Salahi, Author and scholar, UK

Asma Afsaruddin, Indiana University Bloomington, USA

David Palumbo-Liu, Stanford University, USA

Geneviève Rail (Emeritus), University of Concordia, Canada

Khalil Elahee, University of Mauritius, Mauritius

Ermin Sinanovic, United States Naval Academy, USA

Jacques Neirynck, EPFL (Emeritus), Switzerland

Chiara Sebastiani, University of Bologne, Italy

Ray Jureidini, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar

Massimo Campanini, University of Trento & IUSS di Pavia, Italy

Paul Aarts, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Richard Francis Gombrich, University of Oxford, UK

Ulises Tamayo, Autonomous University of Tlaxcala, Mexico

Anwar Alam, Policy Perspectives Foundation, New Delhi, India.

Lord Professor Bhikhu Parekh, University of Westminster, UK

John Holmwood, University of Nottingham, UK

Fethi Mansouri, University of Deakin, Australia

Richard Friedli, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Craig Calhoun, Arizona University, USA

Anna Triandafyllidou, Ryerson University, Canada

Shahram Akbarzadeh, Deaken University, Australia

Raphaël Confiant, writer, University of Antilles, France

Akeel Bilgrami, Columbia University, USA

John Keane, University of Sydney and WZB, Germany

Shad Saleem Faruqi, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Nader Hashemi, University of Denver, USA

Dr Marie-Lorraine Pradelles Monod, psychologue, France

Dr Jaspal Kaur Sadhu Singh, Help University, Malaysia

Dr Haitham al-Haddad, Chair of the fatwa committee, UK

Dr Aasim Padela, University of Chicago, USA

Dr Yvonne Haddad, Georgetown University, USA

Dr Dalia Mogahed, Director, Consultant, USA

Maximin Emagna, Président Europe Belgium Diversity, Belgium

Dr Eric Hazan, writer, founder and publisher “La Fabrique”, France

Dr Anas Altikriti, CEO Cordoba Foundation, UK

Dr Shazad Amin, CEO Mend, UK

Dr Manazir Ahsan, Chair, The Islamic Foundation, UK

Dr Fatiha Talahite, CNRS, France

Dr Raghad Altikriti, President, MAB, UK

Ellen van de Bovenkamp, Leiden, The Netherlands

Dr Murshid Davids, Director, South Africa

Dr Hatem Bazian, Director IRDB, University of California-Berkeley, USA

Dr Alain Gabon, Virginia Wesleyan University, USA

Dr Abdullah Faliq, London Metropolitan University, UK

Dr Sarah Marusek, University of Leeds, UK

Dr Farooq Murad, Islamic Foundation, UK

Dr Ismail Patel, Chair, Friends of Al-Aqsa, UK

Dr Fanny Bauer-Motti, psychologist, UK

Dr Ramon Grosfoguel, University of California-Berkeley, USA

Dr Haoua Sounna Mamadou, Vice-President AFMA, Niger

Dr Abderrahmane Lahlou, Consultant Education & Finance, Morocco

Dr Jaouad Iraqi, jurist, Morocco

Dr Arujunan Narayanan, HELP University, Malaysia

Dr Shabbir Akhtar, University of Oxford, UK

Dr Silvia Maeso, Centre for Social Studies, Portugal

Dr Pravini Baboeram, DNI, The Netherlands

Dr Alexander Fluegel, EPO, The Netherlands

Dr Quraysha Ismail Sooliman, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Dr Amanj Aziz, Nyans, Sweden

Mohamed Nour Dachan, President UCoII (Emeritus), Italy

Dr Massoud Shadjareh, Chair, Islamic Human Rights Commission, UK

Dr Belem Bassirou, Ministery of Environment, Burkina Faso

Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, Monash University, Malaysia

Dr Aliou Baldé, University Assane Seck, Senegal

Dr Sehija Dedovic, Center for Education and Research-Nahla, Bosnia

Dr Ibrahima Ndiaye, economist (UvS), Senegal

Dr El Hadji Séga Gueye, lecturer, France

Dr Mohammad Abdur Rahman Siddiqi, Chairman (IMCJ), Japan

Dr Francois Deroche, medical doctor and President JDSF, France

Dr Homa Katouzian, University of Oxford, UK.

Dr Diadié Maiga, World Health Organization, Congo-Brazzaville

Dr Ahmed Ismail Manjra, paediatrician, South Africa

Dr Bilal Hassam, medical doctor, United Kingdom

Sante Ciccarello, Islamic Relief, Italy

Dr Mohammed Hashas, FSCIRE-La Pira Center, Italy

Dr Shaker Elsayed, Imam, USA

Dr Riccardo Mazzeo, writer, publisher, Italy

Dr Patrizia Dal Monte, theologian, Italy

Dr Paolo Gonzaga, writer, translator, Italy

Ms Yvonne Ridley, Journalist and author, Scotland

Mr Cheick Oumar Sissoko, film director and politician, Mali

Mr Jamal Elshayyal, Journalist and war correspondent, Qatar

Mr Sandew Hira, co-Director DIN, The Netherlands

Sharifah Nazneen Syed Agha, Human rights lawyer, Malaysia

Mr Ricardo Faty, professional footballer (soccer), France-Senegal

Mr Mohamed Diame, professional footballer (soccer), France-Senegal

Mr Doudou Jacques Faty, professional footballer (soccer), Senegal

Mr Ousmane Coulibaly, professional footballer (soccer), Mali

Ms Munisah T Yusoff, Academic consultant, Malaysia

Ms Adélita Genoud, independent journalist, Switzerland

Mr Mamadou Beloum, former Mayor of Seguenega, Burkina Faso

Mr Michael Gunga, Sales Director & Business Consultant, UK

Mr Azad Ali, Community Relations Director, CAGE, UK

Mr Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director, CAGE, UK

Mr Mouhad Reghif, Bruxelles Panthères, Belgium

Mr Tan Sri Jawhar Hassan, Chairman of ISIS, JUST, Malaysia

Ms Rosiah Jantan, JUST, teacher and writer, Malaysia

Ms Thevaki Sriseyohn, clinic psychologist, UK

Mr Hamza Roberto Piccardo, writer, publisher, Italy

Mr Kevin Allagapen, Global Service Analyst, UK

Mr Regis Joffre, Solutions Architect, UK

Ms Basma Elshayyal, University of Warwick, UK

Ms Houria Bouteldja, PIR, France

Mr Abdurrahim Boynukalin – Director, Turkish-British Association

Mr Ajmal Masroor, Director, Barefoot Inst & Freelance Broadcaster, UK

Ms Rakhia Ismail, Councillor, Mayor of Islington, UK

Mr Mohammed Kozbar, Chairman Finsbury Mosque, UK

Mr Jan Ritsema, Performing Arts Forum, France

Mr Giovanni Sarubbi, Director « Il », Italy

Mr Davide Piccardo, Director,, Italy

Ms Feïza Ben Mohamed, journalist, France

Mr Tengku Iskandar Tengku Adnan, Researcher, JUST, Malaysia

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