We have learned that Professor Tariq Ramadan, in addition to being denied access to visitation with his family as well as phone calls, is being deprived of receiving any mail in prison.
Last week, a call went out encouraging supporters to send letters to Prof. Ramadan. Unfortunately, it appears that he has not been given a single one by the prison, including those written and sent by his own family.
After 25 days of no communication with even his family, this latest example serves as yet another reminder of the ultimate objective of the French justice system: To isolate a man who has not been convicted of a single crime from the rest of the world.
While the prosecution remains unsure if they will even have enough evidence to proceed to trial (so far, it appears they do not), Prof. Ramadan, who must be presumed innocent of the allegations, has not received proper access to the medical treatment he requires, and has been virtually cut off from the rest of the world for almost a month with no explanation.
Is this the French justice system we all must place our hopes in to determine the innocence or guilt of Prof. Ramadan? This travesty of justice benefits no one, and only succeeds in bringing shame to the French court.
Below is a sampling of the overwhelming support coming in for him internationally.
ENGLISH ARTICLES AND STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT
YES TO TOUGH, EXEMPLARY ACTION AGAINST RAPE, NO TO THE RACIST TREATMENT OF TARIQ RAMADAN
As a woman, I demand that rape is severely punished, no matter who the perpetrator of the crime is, regardless of whether he is white or black.
As an indigenous woman, I demand the same punishment for perpetrators of rape, whether they are white or black.
Indeed, the French justice system is one that tends to patriarchy, and, yes, it tends to be complaisant towards sex crimes, especially when committed by influential men. Women’s voices are constantly demeaned and dismissed, except when the perpetrator is said to be black, Arab, Muslim or from the suburbs.
Here, justice tends to become racist. The tables turn: Men, who are usually protected at the expense of women, lose this immunity. They could even be condemned in advance. This is true whether it is a petty crime, or a serious offense. It may be the reason why men from migrant backgrounds are overrepresented in prison.
Is it possible to believe that we are championing women’s causes by charging one category of men while ensuring the impunity of another? Is it possible to believe that we are serving women’s causes when the perpetrators of such crimes exploit their positions of power, and enjoy their freedom and presumption of innocence with the support of their peers? And yet Tariq Ramadan, who has already been condemned by the media, has to bear a temporary detention, that the likes of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Patrick Balkany, Georges Tron, Gérard Darmanin, Denis Baupin, Thierry Marchal-Beck, Jean-Claude Brisseau, Gilbert Cuzou, and many others, have evaded or are evading?
Of course, no two cases are similar, but the difference in media, political and judicial treatment of those men, as opposed to the treatment inflicted on Tariq Ramadan, speaks for itself.
This is particularly true in the case of Gilbert Cuzou [a politician in the Ile-de-France region, which includes the city of Paris]: Even though he was charged with five accounts of rape, he was released on bail while he awaits his trial.
Meanwhile, Tariq Ramadan has been left to rot in Fleury-Merogis prison since February 2.
The humilitation and discriminatory treatment of indigenous people has disastrous consequences on our lives as women. It has a tragic impact on the lives of our children and our communities who pay a collective price.
As for the impunity of white men in particular, it has catastrophic consequences on the lives of women in general.
The silence of feminists on this difference in treatment has already had a negative impact on their own cause. Not only does this indifference reinforce patriarchy, it also deepens the already-existing rift between white women and women from post-colonial migrant backgrounds. In truth, closing ranks is what these women need to do in their struggle for freedom.
Hence, the only dignified course of action available to us women is to demand, regardless of the outcome of the proceedings concerning Tariq Ramadan, and without any prejudgment of his culpability or innocence, that he is treated without humiliation--in other words, with dignity, just like the others were treated… Or else, to demand that the others are treated in the same way.
This is imperative and non-negotiable.
YASIR QADHI IS AN AMERICAN MUSLIM SCHOLAR AND WRITER OF PAKISTANI DESCENT. SINCE 2001, HE HAS SERVED AS DEAN OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS AT THE AL-MAGHRIB INSTITUTE
Tariq Ramadan is someone whom I have had the opportunity to benefit from, meet with many times, and consider as a friend.
While I am greatly saddened by the allegations that have been made against him, and I sincerely pray that those allegations are completely false (and of late there have been many disturbing inconsistencies in those allegations, and blatant disregard for police protocol that needs to be answered), the purpose of this post has absolutely nothing to do with those allegations, and everything to do with the clear hatred and bigotry that the French authorities, politicians, justice system and media are treating him with.
Regardless of whether those allegations are true or not (and I pray that the truth comes to light and that justice is served), here are the issues that I and many others see as clear violations of protocol:
- he was arrested by the police after he VOLUNTARILY went to the police station for questioning. Typically arrests are not done in similar cases.
- he has been held in SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, in a MAXIMUM SECURITY lockdown, when that is never done for such cases. He does not present a threat to anyone else, and certainly doesn't warrant such harsh measures as a prisoner.
- he has been DENIED FAMILY VISITATION RIGHTS, and his wife and children have still not seen him after more than two weeks. Again, this is simply unheard of in any other similar situation.
- two days ago, a French judge DENIED him medical release from prison despite the fact that it was deemed medically unsuitable as the prison could not cater to his deteriorating medical situation.
- yesterday, his medical condition (he suffers from multiple sclerosis) became so severe that he needed to be taken to the hospital, where, again, he was denied even basic visitation rights. Still, the judge refused to release him on humanitarian grounds.
It is truly sad that some of our brothers and sisters, in their having been caught up with so many scandals and harassment claims around the world (many or most of which are true) are blinded by their hurt and anger to not see these double standards for which so many of us are complaining.
Once again, THIS IS NOT ABOUT WHETHER DR RAMADAN IS GUILTY OR NOT. (Still, I know in the comments below so many people will bring in that issue). This is about the clear animosity that is being shown to him by the entire French judicial system, and the inhumane treatment that is being meted out to him, merely because of who he is and what he represents. If he is guilty, he should be treated like any other French person charged with the same types of insinuations, not the current way that he is being treated.
Here are the action items for those who want to do something:
1. Please SIGN the online petition,
2. Tweet at various politicians and the French Embassies and Consuls with the hashtag #FreeTariqRamadan
3. Raise awareness of these issues on your social media.
4. Write a note to his family that he, and they, are in your duas. https://www.freetariqramadan.com/contact
May Allah help all those who are unjustly targeted and protect them and their families!
Very sad and outrageous to see how Dr. Tariq Ramadan is treated by the French legal system. Allegations are serious but to keep him detained before even being convicted and to prevent his family from visiting him is a travesty of justice. Due process is being seriously undermined.
Free Tariq Ramadan Campaign
THE DISINTEGRATION OF JUSTICE AND THE DAMAGE TO #METOO:MUSLIM ASSOCIATION OF BRITAIN
The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) is deeply concerned for the welfare of Tariq Ramadan as he endures a disintegration of due process in the case brought against him by two alleged victims of sexual abuse.
Having voluntarily returned to France to cooperate with the investigation into the accusations levelled against him only to be locked up in solitary confinement at a high security facility and prevented from seeing his family as well as from taking his prescribed medication for multiple sclerosis. In a recent statement, his family describe his health as having seriously deteriorated since he was arrested on the 5th of February.
MAB, while firmly believing that any allegations of sexual abuse must be taken seriously and should be thoroughly and fully investigated, is shocked to see that even the most basic rules of justice are being flagrantly ignored by the French authorities; that one is innocent until proven guilty. Such contempt for due process sadly undermines the important #MeToo movement and is a betrayal of victims.
President of MAB, Anas Altikriti stated last night: “The fact that the case against Tariq Ramadan is littered with inconsistencies and apparent falsehoods, including the accusation that he carries an Egyptian passport hence deemed a flight risk. Further, the mysterious loss of crucial evidence proving his whereabouts at the time he is accused of committing the crime, simply adds to the frustration and anger of those who have come to know, follow and learn from Tariq Ramadan over a number of decades.
“Also, the coinciding case of the Minister of Action and Public Accounts Gérald Darmanin, who faces two accusations of rape, yet left free not only to walk the streets but to continue serving as a minister enjoying the government’s full support, belies the application of double standards which can only be inferred to be racist in basis.”
MAB is unwavering in its support for due judicial process and for a full and thorough investigation into the allegations to take place. What is currently happening in France however, is anything but. Should this be allowed to continue, the victim won’t be only Tariq Ramadan, but all genuine victims of sexual abuse and France’s judicial system and the country’s standing among the free and democratic world.
ABIM CONDEMNS PERSECUTION OF TARIQ RAMADAN; URGES PEOPLE WORLDWIDE IN GLOBAL SOLIDARITY TO FREE TARIQ RAMADAN
The Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) is greatly concerned by the prosecution of contemporary Muslim thinker, Dr Tariq Ramadan, accused of sexual misconduct by French authorities.
Recently Dr Tariq Ramadan has been hospitalised after being held in detention for 18 days.
ABIM strongly condemns the French authority’s harsh treatment and denial of access to his family throughout the period of his incarceration.
The manner and conduct of his detention is totally unbecoming as Professor Dr Tariq Ramadan has voluntarily presented himself to the police to assist willingly with investigations.
ABIM is gravely disturbed by the puzzling and jaundiced actions of the French prosecution in ignoring and neglecting evidence provided by Dr Tariq Ramadan as strong and convincing alibi to clear his name.
Prof Dr Tariq is a renowned intellectual in the forefront of defending Islamic principles and values in the face of vile and hateful attacks.
The West should not forget or deny Tariq Ramadan’s genuine contribution in trying to bridge the precarious divide between Western society and the Muslim world.
Based on the available facts, the prosecution against Dr Tariq Ramadan is flawed with evident motives of hate and political prejudice.
ABIM urges Malaysians together with the world community to support and realize the solidarity campaign #FreeTariqRamadan which needs to be popularized far and wide in order to demand the freedom of this intellectual from being persecuted and oppressed and slandering his reputation and credibility.
Mohamad Raimi Ab Rahim
President, Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM)
STATEMENT BY CAGE : TRIAL BY MEDIA ERODES PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE
London – In all cases of serious sexual assault it is fundamental that the rights of all parties are protected. All efforts must be made to safeguard the interests of victims particularly when the perpetrator is a well know personality.
However, the requirement for due process also enshrines the right to a fair hearing. These are basic universal principles that underline the work of CAGE.
We are therefore concerned by the selective leaking of confidential evidence into the public domain which appears to be geared towards damaging the trial process.
This is particularly dangerous when such leaks have coincided with prejudicial commentary by senior politicians and the media.
The hypocrisy of such a position has been demonstrated by former Prime Minister Manuel Valls who intervened pejoratively on the Tariq Ramadan case, yet extended the presumption of innocence in defence of the current Finance Minister, who is also accused of rape.
The law requires equal treatment of all suspects and the assumption of innocence before conviction. A trial of these serious allegations should be on the basis of concrete evidence procured in a fair manner, and not on the personality of the accused, or on the bias created by the media.
Furthermore, it is undermining to the interests of justice to use the case of Professor Ramadan as a tool to fan the flames of Islamophobia and play into the dog whistle politics of the far right.
In France, it is reported that the Muslim prison population stands at a shocking 70%.
If Professor Ramadan’s trial by media continues on the current trajectory, it will only cement the already existing belief that Muslims are exempt from the French values of liberté, égalité, fraternité.
Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director for CAGE, said:
“CAGE is deeply concerned about the role of those engaged in instigating and perpetuating anti-Muslim sentiments based on the political and religious views of Professor Ramadan in France and beyond.”
“It is important for the legal process to arrive at a fair and just conclusion for all concerned.
However, recent and past history shows us that governments are capable of hijacking the very serious issue of sexual offence in order to further smear campaigns against individuals who they perceive to have influence on the public discourse, especially on matters pertaining to civil rights, political dissent, community empowerment, whistleblowing and resisting government overreach.”
( Source: Change.org - Petition Update )
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