Statement of the European Muslim Network on the status of its President Professor Tariq Ramadan

 

President of the European Muslim Network, Oxford University Professor and renowned Muslim public intellectual Tariq Ramadan, has been held for more than five months in preventive detention at a French prison and has been denied bail following allegations of rape, which he vehemently denies, as the charges levelled against him collapse one after the other.

Professor Tariq Ramadan is being denied appropriate treatment for a serious pre-existing medical condition as well as access to his full legal file. French magistrates continue to ignore the diagnoses of nine physicians that Professor Ramadan suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, including that of the chief prison medical authority who confirmed that his state of health is incompatible with prolonged incarceration.

We are utterly appalled with the way the French judiciary has been treating Professor Ramadan.

We express our deep concern regarding the inhumane treatment that Tariq Ramadan has been subjected to at the hands of the French “justice”.

We fully recognise the plaintiffs’ right to have their case heard without prejudice, but we wish to remind the country – which has affirmed the inalienability of human rights and equality – of the importance to respect the principles that ensure the integrity of French judiciary.

We ask: Why has Professor Ramadan been denied bail at the preliminary investigative stage although he willingly came forward for questioning and provided all required guarantees?

Has Professor Ramadan been granted the equal treatment so cherished by France when high-ranking political figures accused of similar offenses continue to enjoy full freedom of movement?

We ask: Is there one form of justice for Muslims in France and another for everyone else there?

What justifies solitary confinement, limited family visitation rights, denial of access to his case file and thus to the necessary means for preparing his defence?

Why do prosecutors selectively leak information to the public with impunity? Is it standard practice in France for high-ranking political figures to publicly denigrate someone awaiting trial?

Accordingly, Professor Ramadan is suffering from systematic vilification in the mainstream media without being able to defend himself against this character assassination and demonization.

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

These are straightforward questions on equal access to justice. To them we add our deep concern for the dignified and humane treatment of all prisoners. We support the defence in appealing to the European Court of Human Rights due to the unwarranted suffering Dr Ramadan has undergone at the hands of the French judiciary.

We appeal to France to prove to the Muslim community in Europe at large, that it upholds the values of “liberté, égalité, and fraternité” irrespective of a person’s ethnic or religious background, political orientation, or activism in challenging France’s stance in opposing the Muslim community’s role there in particular and in Europe at large.

According to the “European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms” (ECHR, 1950), which is also binding for the European Union by virtue of Article 6 of the Treaty on the European Union, and the “Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union” (2000), everyone has the right to liberty and security, and every person who has been charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

We are convinced that France has so far utterly failed in living up to this principle in the case of our president Professor Tariq Ramadan.

We demand the immediate release of Professor Tariq Ramadan so that he is afforded the opportunity to properly prepare his defence. We reiterate that Tariq Ramadan must be entitled to the presumption of innocence and to due process on equal footing with anyone else.

European Muslim Network, 16th July 2018

Members:

Ibrahim El-Zayat, Germany
Mohammed Belal El-Mogaddedi, Germany
Abdool Magid Abdool Karim Vakil, Portugal
Ahmet Alibašić, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Malika Hamidi, Belgium
Hamza Roberto Piccardo, Italy
Yacob Mahi, Belgium
Hussain Shefaar, England
Nezar Mahmoud, Germany
Sehija Dedovic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ali Rahni, France
Omer Kajoshaj, Montenegro
Sabiha Erbakan-El-Zayat, Germany
Moustafa Megawer, Malta
Zakaria Hamidi, Netherlands
Younes Nassir-Sahli, Belgium
Michael Pfaff, Germany
Patrizia Khadija Dal Monte, Italy
Lucia Dahlab, Switzerland
Paolo Gonzaga, Italy
Abdelmajid Mhauchi, Belgium
Davide Piccardo, Italy
Hajer Dhahri, Germany
Ivan Ejub Kostic, Serbia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *