Noam Chomsky joins international appeal for due process in Tariq Ramadan case



 “Is there a form of justice for Muslims in France and another for all the rest?”

(July 23, 2018) An international open letter released last June called on French authorities to grant Professor Tariq Ramadan his most basic human and civil rights.

Now new distinguished signatories from across the globe have joined this call including renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, historian Joan W. Scott, former Malian Minister Aminata Traoré, Leila Ahmed of Harvard University, from Jerusalem, journalist and essayist Michel Warshawski, and from Switzerland Jean Ziegler, vice-chairman of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as Erica Deuber Ziegler, historian.

French signatories have also joined including jurists Géraud de la Pradelle and Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, Michèle Sibony, a member of the UJFP, and Françoise Duthu, a former member of the European Parliament.

The letter demands Professor Ramadan’s right to the presumption of innocence, a fair and equitable judicial procedure, and to fair treatment by the French justice system which has treated those accused of near identical crimes vastly different.

The appeal also emphasizes that besides the isolation he has endured this entire time, Professor Ramadan suffers from multiple sclerosis and neurological complications for which he continues to be denied appropriate medical treatment. (Read about the investigation by Alain Gabon

This Open Letter had initially gathered international signatories including the British author Karen Armstrong; the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor; British filmmaker Ken Loach; Dr. Amina Wadud of Berkeley; British journalist Peter Oborne; Professor John Esposito of Georgetown University and theologian Hamza Yusuf.

Despite there being both legal precedence (defendants in similar cases) and serious health concerns (based on medical evaluations) warranting Professor Ramadan’s release on bail, he remains held in endless pre-trial detention under the harshest conditions. As a result, his health is rapidly deteriorating with frequent loss of feeling in his limbs, emergency trips to the hospital, and reliance on a wheelchair.

Confronted with these shocking facts, there has been an outpouring of global support for Professor Ramadan—with an increasing number of signatories. 

Just last week, protesters demonstrated at French embassies around the world calling for Professor Ramadan’s immediate release from prison and right to due process.

With global attention fixed on this important case, many have echoed the question posed in the open letter: “Is there a form of justice for Muslims in France and another for all the rest?”

“It is not up to us to judge the guilt or innocence of Professor Ramadan” repeat the new signatories. “We fully recognize the rights of complainants, that their cause be heard without prejudice or injury to their honor. But we wish to remind France that has affirmed the inalienability of human rights and equality, the importance of respect for the principles which guarantee the integrity of French justice”.

One can be certain that developments in the case of Professor Tariq Ramadan will be monitored closely as a true test of French constitutionalism.

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