First Published: 2018-03-08

Third woman accuses Tariq Ramadan of rape
French Muslim woman claims to have suffered multiple rapes in France, Brussels, London between 2013 and 2014.
Middle East Online

Ramadan remains in custody as French authorities judge him a flight risk

PARIS - A third woman has accused prominent Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan of rape, a month after he was indicted over claims he assaulted two women and remanded into custody, judicial sources said on Wednesday.

The French Muslim woman, who wants to remain anonymous and uses the pseudonym "Marie", claims to have suffered multiple rapes in France, Brussels and London between 2013 and 2014.

She has accused Ramadan, 55, of subjecting her to violent and sexually degrading acts during a dozen meetings, often in hotels on the sidelines of conferences.

"I had to obey him, be available 24 hours a day, do whatever he told me, take pictures in submissive positions, on my knees to ask for forgiveness, call him 'master'," she told Europe 1 radio.

"At first, there were feelings, otherwise I would not have agreed to see him," she added.

"I had difficulty saying the word: rape. Today I can say it."

A judicial source said: "'Marie' tried in vain to escape the influence of Mr Ramadan who did not stop threatening her," during a period between February 2013 and June 2014.

Ramadan, a prominent TV pundit and Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement, was detained on February 2 over charges he raped two Muslim women in France, which he denies.

- 'There will be others' -

His two accusers went to police in late October, both alleging that he had raped them in French hotel rooms.

Henda Ayari, 41, said she decided to accuse him publicly after the "Me Too" campaign against sexual abuse and harassment encouraged her to speak out.

Ayari, a feminist activist who previously practised a conservative strain of Islam, says Ramadan raped her in a Paris hotel room in 2012.

The second accuser, a disabled woman, alleges that Ramadan raped her and beat her in a hotel in the southeastern city of Lyon in 2009.

"Bringing forward a complaint can be a slow process. There will be others," said lawyer Eric Morain, who represents the second accuser.

Ramadan remains in custody as French authorities judge him a flight risk.

A court dismissed a bid by Ramadan last month to be released on health grounds, after his lawyers argued his multiple sclerosis and nerve damage could not be adequately treated behind bars.

His lawyers have also unsuccessfully attempted to secure his release by proposing handing in his Swiss passport, posting a bail of 50,000 euros ($62,000) and daily check-ins at a police station.

A professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford, Ramadan has been on leave since November after the allegations emerged.

One of European Islam's best known figures, he has dismissed the accusations against him as a smear campaign by his enemies and his lawyers argue there are inconsistencies in the women's accounts.

His supporters -- including two million Facebook followers -- have lashed out angrily at his arrest, with many complaining that he has been unfairly targeted because he is Muslim.


Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Abbas calls US ambassador to Israel 'son of a dog'

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Natural gas in eastern Mediterranean fuels increasing tensions

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights

Human rights chief slams Security Council for inaction on Syria

US warns Turkey over civilians caught in Syria assault

Saudi crown prince keen to cement ties with US

Erdogan vows to expand Syria op to other Kurdish-held areas

Kurdish envoy accuses foreign powers of ignoring Turkish war crimes

Morocco authorities vow to close Jerada's abandoned mines

Israeli soldier sees manslaughter sentence slashed

Turkey insists no plans to remain in Afrin

Cairo voters show unwavering support for native son Sisi

Forum in Jordan explores new teaching techniques

Gaza Strip woes receive renewed attention but no fix is expected

Kurds, Syrian opposition condemn Afrin looting

36 jihadists killed in Egypt’s Sinai

Israel arrests French consulate worker for gun smuggling

Pro-Turkish forces loot Afrin

Israel prepares to demolish Jerusalem attacker's home

Saudi crown prince says his country to seek nuclear bomb if Iran does

Arab women artists in diaspora focus on identity and loss

Tunisia’s Central Bank targets inflation but may hurt growth prospects

Libya’s health system reflects a larger humanitarian crisis

Israel blasts Gaza underground tunnel

Abu Dhabi awards France's Total stakes in oil concessions

Erdogan says Afrin city centre under ‘total’ control

Egypt tries to contain Sudan but challenges, suspicions remain

US defence secretary presses Oman on Iran weapons smuggling

Syrian regime retakes two towns from Ghouta rebels

Hamas shutters mobile firm after Gaza attack on PM

Israel punishes family members of West Bank attacker