Don protests his innocence in video as third woman accuses him of rape

The video shows Ramadan declaring himself “totally innocent of the crimes I am accused of.”

Amended photography from Romina Santarelli / Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación.

CW: This article contains accounts of sexual violence, assault, and rape.

A video of Oxford University professor Tariq Ramadan protesting his innocence has emerged after a third woman came forward with an accusation of rape against him.

The video, which was published by French news outlet The Muslim Post, is thought to date back to November and shows Ramadan declaring himself “totally innocent of the crimes I am accused of.”

Ramadan adds: “With time, we will know who has said the truth, who has lied, and, ultimately, who is innocent”. He repeats his claim in the video that he is subject to a smear campaign by his enemies.

Ramadan, a professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Middle East Centre, was indicted and remanded into custody on February 2 “as part of a preliminary inquiry in Paris into rape and assault allegations,” judicial sources told AFP.

The third woman, a French Muslim who wishes to remain anonymous and uses the pseudonym “Marie”, claims to have been raped multiple times in London, France, and Brussels between 2013 and 2014. She accuses Mr Ramadan of subjecting her to violent and sexually degrading acts during a dozen meetings.

She told Europe 1 radio in an interview that she “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’.”

“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.”

Henda Ayari, 41, accused Mr Ramadan of assaulting and raping her in a Paris hotel room after a conference in 2012. She described the alleged assault in 2016 book, I Chose to be Free, without naming Mr Ramadan as the attacker.

Ms Ayari said she decided to accuse Mr Ramadan publicly after being inspired by the “Me Too” campaign against sexual harassment and abuse.

A second woman, who remains unnamed, then reported Mr Ramadan to the police, alleging that he raped her in a Lyon hotel in 2009. She claims that he kicked away the crutches she had been using for her injured leg and violently assaulted her.

The woman alleges that she went straight to a doctor after claims to have medical evidence of the assault. She told Le Monde that Mr Ramadan sent her a text message afterwards in which he asked to see her again, “as if we had spent a wonderfully romantic and tender evening together.”

After she refused, the woman alleged that she was subjected to “months of harassment and threats from men who followed me in the street; one threatened to kill me.”

“Bringing forward a complaint can be a slow process. There will be others,” Eric Morain, who represents the second woman, said.

Last month, a court dismissed a bid by Mr Ramadan to be released on health grounds. His lawyers argued that his multiple sclerosis and nerve damage could not receive adequate treatment in prison.

Ramadan’s legal representatives were also unsuccessful in an attempt to secure his release by proposing the submission of his Swiss passport to authorities, posting a bail of €50,000 (£44,000), and daily check-ins at a police station.

Ramadan agreed to take a leave of absence from the University of Oxford in November after the allegations emerged.

“I have taken leave of absence upon mutual agreement with Oxford University, which will permit me to devote my energies to my defence while respecting students’ need for a calm academic environment,” he said at the time.

“An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt,” the University said in a November statement.

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