Rape-accused Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan hospitalised

Rape-accused Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan hospitalised
2 min read
18 February, 2018
Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, detained in France ahead of a trial on two rape charges, has reportedly been hospitalised.
Two women have accused Ramadan of rape [Getty]

Prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who was remanded in custody earlier this month amid an investigation into two alleged cases of rape, has reportedly been hospitalised.

An online site campaigning for Ramadan's release said on Saturday that his family had learned of his hospitalisation. French media, citing sources close to the case, reported that he was taken to hospital on Friday.

Ramadan's French wife, Iman, said in a video posted on Wednesday on the Free Tariq Ramadan site that her husband suffers from a "severe chronic illness" and treatment for it is unavailable in jail.

Ramadan - a Swiss national whose grandfather Hassan al-Banna founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood - has strongly denied allegations that he raped two Muslim women in French hotel rooms in 2009 and 2012.

The 55-year-old academic is the most prominent figure to be held in France since the global "Me Too" campaign against sexual harassment began.

Henda Ayari, a feminist activist who used to practice a conservative strain of Islam, had described being raped in the 2016 book "I Chose to Be Free".

She gave Ramadan a false name, but in October publically referred to the Islamic scholar as the alleged perpetrator.

Ramadan was handed preliminary rape charges this month in two cases, one that allegedly took place in 2009 and the other allegedly in 2012.

Ramadan denies any wrongdoing and has filed a lawsuit claiming the allegations are false.

The support group claimed the minutes of the depositions of the two accusers have been leaked to the press and the investigations have revealed "connections between the two accusers and well-known critics of Tariq Ramadan".

According to the minutes revealed to AFP news agency, "the investigators have revealed that the two accusers have kept regular contact with many critics of the intellectual".

A court ordered Ramadan be detained ahead of his trial, saying he was a possible flight risk and fearing potential pressure on women who testified anonymously.

A Paris appeals court ordered a medical evaluation on Thursday and postponed its ruling on his detention until February 22 after Ramadan went to the hearing in an ambulance.