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Human Rights Court rejects complaint by Tariq Ramadan

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected an appeal by Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan. Ramadan was defending himself against a conviction in France for publishing the identity details of one of his alleged rape victims.

In its ruling published on Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) stated that the French judiciary had sufficiently clarified the various elements of the conviction. The lower courts had sufficiently considered the interests of Ramadan and his alleged victim.

The French criminal authorities had taken into account the fact that the woman allegedly raped by Ramadan had published various identity clues on her blog herself, including photos.

In accordance with the ECHR, they also took into account the identity already disseminated in various media before Ramadan mentioned her name in his book "Duty to the Truth" and in interviews. These elements led to a reduction of the sentence and damages in Ramadan's favor at the appeal hearing before the Court of Appeal in Paris.

However, the Human Rights Court found that Ramadan had violated the French press law, which protects the identity of a victim of sexual assault. Only the written consent of his alleged victim would have authorized Ramadan to publish his identity, the Strasbourg judges ruled.

On trial for rape

The decision from Strasbourg is related to the rape proceedings opened in France in February 2018 against Tariq Ramadan. The assaults against the woman he unlawfully identified allegedly took place in Paris in 2012. Ramadan is alleged to have committed further sexual assaults on other victims in Lyon in 2009. Ramadan, against whom charges were brought in 2019, sued for defamation.

Ramadan is facing a total of six charges of rape in France. The court hearings have not yet taken place and the accused is presumed innocent.

In May 2023, the Geneva Criminal Court acquitted Ramadan of the charges of rape and sexual assault due to a lack of material evidence. He was accused of raping a woman in a Geneva hotel room in October 2008. The public prosecutor's office and the plaintiff's lawyers announced an appeal.

©Keystone/SDA

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