Tariq Ramadan has been held in solitary confinement at the maximum-security wing of the Fleury-Mérogis prison (Essonne) since February 2.
On February 15, his health suddenly deteriorated, a result of medical neglect. Mr. Ramadan suffers from multiple sclerosis as well as a second, non-identified health condition.
He was transported by ambulance to the Hall of Justice for his hearing where the court was to rule on his application for release from detention.
In support of his petition for release, his lawyers Yassine Bouzrou and Julie Granier handed the presiding magistrates a letter signed by the prison medical officer stipulating that further detention would prove prejudicial to Mr. Ramadan’s health.
His legal representatives also offered guarantees against flight risks of their client, the original motive for his detention.
These included: surrender of his Swiss passport (the only one he possesses), daily appearances at a local police station, a ban on leaving France, and a security deposit of 50,000 euros.
Despite these measures, the court postponed its decision and ordered a more thorough medical examination.
Mr. Ramadan was then returned to confinement, despite availability of measures that would be less risky for his health, including an electronic bracelet or a formal state of house arrest.
Treatment of such severity, accompanied by a clearly irregular legal process (including the ‘loss’ of important evidence provided by the defence and apparent collusion of witnesses) gives further weight to concerns and even questions about the highly particular nature that Mr. Ramadan’s case has been prosecuted.
Condemned even before the beginning of the enquiry by the media and individuals known for their visceral opposition to his political and religious views, Mr. Ramadan’s right to the presumption of innocence has been consistently violated since the fall of 2017.
He has been placed in solitary confinement; his family has been unable either to visit or to speak to him by telephone for the last 23 days. All this while other individuals accused of similar offenses have not been imprisoned, and in fact still enjoy full freedom of movement.
Given the extreme severity and unfairness of such treatment, what are the citizens of France to believe? Surely that there exists a dual system of justice.
What women’s movement can continue to display such harshness toward some, and yet such indulgence toward others?
Recent campaigns on social media have shown that sexual abuse of women is a significant issue, one that impacts society as a whole.
Rape is a crime that must be punished. All the more reason for the women’s movement, which enjoys widespread support, not to be exploited for political ends unrelated to its aims and goals.
It is not for us to judge Tariq Ramadan’s guilt or innocence. In the spirit of respect for the plaintiffs, we support his right to a full and just legal process.
In view of Tariq Ramadan’s rapidly deteriorating health, we call for his immediate release.
Respect for a person’s fundamental rights, irrespective of his origins, his religion or his political opinions, constitutes the very foundation upon which democracy is built.
Joan W. Scott, Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University
Sonia Dayan Herzbrun, Sociologist and Philosopher
Christine Delphy, Sociologist, Feminist Activist
Michelle Guerci, Journalist, Anti-racist Feminist
Alain Gresh, Journalist
Judith Bernard, Teacher, Film Director, Journalist
Michèle Sibony, Anti-racist Activist
Stéphanie Chevrier, Director of Don Quichotte publications
François Burgat, Political Analyst
Geneviève Rail, Feminist Activist, University of Concordia, Canada
Olivier Le Cour GrandMaison, Academic
Françoise Vergès, Political Analyst and Feminist Anti-racist Activist
Catherine Samary, Economist
Pr Ramon Grosfoguel, Professor, Berkeley University
Felwine Sarr, Writer, Economist
François Gèze, Publisher
Pr Stathis Kouvelakis, Political Theory, King's College, London
Pr Simon Saunders, Professor of Philosophy, Oxford University
Mireille Fanon Mendès-France, ex UN Expert, Legal Consultant
Marwan Muhammad, Author and Statisticien
Pr Kalypso Nicolaidis, Professor of International Relations, Oxford University
Eric Hazan, Publisher
Dominique Ziegler, Author, Film Director
Gustave Massiah, Economist
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Aminata Traoré, Ex-Minister of Culture, Mali, Anti-Globalization Activist
Pr Richard Falk, Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University
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Pr Sho Konishi, Associate Professor in Modern Japanese History, Oxford University
Pr Ian Neary, Professor in the Politics of Japan, Oxford University
Jean Daniel Belfond, Director of “Presses du Châtelet” et Archipel
Karen Armstrong, Author and Researcher in Comparative Religions
Jonathan AC Brown, Professor at the University of Georgetown, Washington D.C
Massimo Campanini, Historian in Islamic Philosophy, Italy
Didier Lestrade, Journalist and Writer
Pr John Esposito, Professor of Religion & International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Kristine Baker, Host, TV Presenter, Journalist and Author
Pr Walter Armbrust, University Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, Oxford University
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Pr Paul Betts, Professor of Modern History of Europe, Sussex University
Nadine Rosa Rosso,Teacher and activist
Hugh Whittaker, Director of the Nissan Japanese Institute, Oxford University
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Ramon Sarro, Dean of St Antony College, Oxford University
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Pr Khaled Abou El Fadl, Professor at the University of California
Ismahane Chouder, Feminist Activist MTE
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Malika Hamidi, Author and Sociologist
Nabil Ennasri, Doctor in Political Science
Fanny Bauer Motti, Doctor and Clinical Psychologist
Houria Bouteldja, Anti-racist Activist
Blondin Cissé, Philosopher and Conference Coordinator, Senegal
Farid Esack, Write, Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Johannesburg
Ebrahim Moosa, Professor of Islamic Studies, Notre-Dame University, Indiana
Abdourahmane Seck, Anthropologist and Historian
Mame Penda Ba, Political Science Professor at the University of Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis, Senegal
Cheikh Boikari Fofana, President of the Supreme Council of Imams, Ivory Coast
Farid Hafez, Chief of Religious Studies department, University of Johannesburg
Moussa Ibn Yacoub, Humanitarian Worker
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Ahmet Kavas, Diplomat
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