Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who was being held in custody in France on multiple rape charges, has been released to hospital care for evaluation to determine if he is well enough to face trial.
The 55-year-old Oxford University professor will now undergo an independent medical evaluation after being sent to hospital on Friday night, a source close to the case confirmed to France 24.
“His state of health is getting worse, particularly since the judges refused to issue a visit permit to his wife and children yesterday,” the source said. Ramadan’s lawyers added that their client’s condition was “not compatible with detention.”
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, the Swiss-born scholar is charged with rape and rape of a vulnerable person, and had been held at the Fleury-Merogis prison near Paris since February 2.
His detention came in the wake of a preliminary investigation opened last year after two women filed police complaints against him, accusing him of rape.
The main complainant against Mr. Ramadan, the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, is former Salafist Henda Ayari, 40. She filed a complaint with French authorities in Rouen accusing Mr. Ramadan of sexually harassing her, raping her, and issuing death threats towards her.
The feminist activist also revealed that she had written about her experience in a book, but had been too fearful to print Mr. Ramadan’s name, L’Express reports.
A court ordered Mr. Ramadan be detained ahead of his trial, saying he was a possible flight risk and fearing potential pressure on women who testified anonymously.
Mr. Ramadan denies all accusations against him and maintains his innocence on all charges. He claims he is being targeted by “a campaign of slander clearly orchestrated by my longtime adversaries” and has filed a complaint for slander against Ayari.
He took a leave of absence from the University of Oxford, when the first charges were made public: “Contrary to reports in the French-language press, 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.”
A Paris appeals court postponed its ruling on his detention until February 22 after Mr. Ramadan went to the initial hearing in a specially-equipped ambulance.
Mr. Ramadan’s supporters claim his problems are part of a “Zionist plot.”