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Don detained on rape charges

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

Oxford University professor Tariq Ramadan has been taken into custody by French police, following multiple accusations of rape.

Ramadan was detained on Wednesday “as part of a preliminary inquiry in Paris into rape and assault allegations”, a legal source told AFP.

Ramadan, a professor of Islamic Studies, took a leave of absence from Oxford in early November after two women made accusations of rape against him.

The Director of Graduate Studies at the Oriental Institute, Alison Salvesen, sent an email on Wednesday to all postgraduate students at the faculty.

She said: “The University is keeping the situation under review and I will keep you updated as and when more information becomes available.”

A postgraduate student told Cherwell: “At last, it seems that the French authorities are taking these allegations seriously.

“I sincerely hope that this goes to court, and justice is served to all those concerned.”
Ramadan has denied the claims and filed a complaint for slander against French author Henda Ayari, one of his accusers.

Ayari claimed Ramadan assaulted and raped her in a Paris hotel room in 2012.

She described the alleged assault in her 2016 book I Chose to be Free. In the book she describes being raped by a prominent intellectual in a hotel room after a conference.

She wrote that she was treated violently, slapped, and insulted.

Ayari said she did not name Ramadan as the attacker in her book, after receiving “threats”.

A second woman then reported Ramadan to the police, alleging that he raped her in a Lyon hotel in 2009.

She claimed he kicked away the crutches she had been using for her injured leg and violently assaulted her.

The unnamed woman alleges that she went straight to a doctor after claims to have medical evidence of the assault.

She told Le Monde that Ramadan sent her a text message after asking to see her again “as if we had spent a wonderfully romantic and tender evening together”.

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

Last term, following student backlash at the University’s slow response to the allegations, the University released a statement that Ramadan would take a leave of absence “by mutual agreement, and with immediate effect”.

They said: “The University has consistently acknowledged the gravity of the allegations against professor Ramadan, while emphasisng the importance of fairness and the principles of justice and due process.

“An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt.”

The university have reiterated their statement in light recent developments.

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