Third woman accuses grand son of Muslim Brotherhood founder Tariq Ramadan of rape

File photo for Tariq Ramadan, grand son of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hasssan Al-Banna. (AFP)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Third woman accuses grand son of Muslim Brotherhood founder Tariq Ramadan of rape

PARIS: A third woman has accused Tariq Ramadan, the grand son of the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder of rape, a month after he was indicted over similar charges and remanded into custody, judicial sources told AFP 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 at the sidelines of conferences.
“Marie tried in vain to escape the influence of Mr. Ramadan who did not stop threatening her,” according to a judicial source, discussing the period between February 2013 and June 2014.
Ramadan, a scholar, 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.
French authorities ordered Ramadan to be placed in custody after he was charged, judging him a flight risk.
His lawyers unsuccessfully proposed handing over his Swiss passport, bail of 50,000 euros ($62,000) and daily check-ins at a police station to secure his release.
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.


Relief as Maldives strongman concedes defeat

Updated 27 min 2 sec ago
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Relief as Maldives strongman concedes defeat

  • The Maldivian people have decided what they want,” President Abdulla Yameen said
  • He said he would hand over power when his term ends on November 17 and ensure a smooth transition

COLOMBO: The strongman leader of the Maldives on Monday conceded defeat in the presidential election, easing fears of a fresh political crisis in the archipelago at the center of a battle for influence between India and China.
“The Maldivian people have decided what they want. I have accepted the results from yesterday,” President Abdulla Yameen said in a televised address to the Indian Ocean nation a day after the joint opposition candidate unexpectedly triumphed.
“Earlier today, I met with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who the Maldivian electorate has chosen to be their next president. I have congratulated him,” Yameen said.
He said he would hand over power when his term ends on November 17 and ensure a smooth transition in the 1,200-island nation, popular with foreign tourists for its white sands and blue lagoons.
Solih’s victory was a major surprise, with Yameen’s main political rivals either in prison or in exile, media coverage of the opposition sparse and monitors and the opposition predicting vote-rigging.
There had been concerns Yameen might not accept the result given what happened after the last election in 2013.
The Supreme Court annulled that result after Yameen trailed former president Mohamed Nasheed — giving Yameen time to forge alliances and win a second round of voting that was postponed twice.
Results released by the electoral commission showed Yameen on 41.7 percent of the vote, well behind Solih on 58.3 percent — the only other name on ballot papers.
The final official result will take up to a week to be published.
Yameen stayed quiet overnight after the outcome became clear. But signs grew Monday that he would throw in the towel, with a foreign ministry statement saying Solih had won and state media showing him claiming victory.
Nearly 90 percent of the 262,000 electorate turned out to vote, with some waiting in line for more than five hours.
Celebrations broke out across the archipelago on Sunday night, with opposition supporters waving yellow flags of Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and dancing in the streets.
On Monday the situation was calm.
The US State Department, which had warned of “appropriate measures” if the vote was not free and fair, had called on Yameen to “respect the will of the people.”
Regional superpower India said the result marked “the triumph of democratic forces.” But China was yet to comment, with Monday being a public holiday there.
Beijing loaned Yameen’s government hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure projects like the new “China-Maldives Friendship Bridge” from the airport to the capital Male, which opened in August.
The loans stoked fears among Western countries and India about China’s growing influence under its “Belt and Road Initiative” stretching from Asia into Africa and Europe.
Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Yameen but struggled for visibility. The local media was fearful of falling foul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.
In February Yameen imposed a 45-day state of emergency, alarming the international community, in what was seen as an attempt to block a push by his opponents in parliament to impeach him.
A crackdown saw former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom — Yameen’s half-brother — jailed along with the Chief Justice and another Supreme Court justice.
Independent international monitors were barred from Sunday’s election and only a handful of foreign media were allowed in to cover the poll.
The government had used “vaguely worded laws to silence dissent and to intimidate and imprison critics,” some of whom had been assaulted and even murdered, according to Human Rights Watch.
Solih pledged on Twitter before the election that he would open investigations into the disappearance of journalist Ahmed Rilwan, missing since 2014, and the fatal stabbing of blogger Yameen Rasheed in 2017.
He promised also to repeal anti-defamation legislation and “ensure press freedom.”
Foreign monitors said Yameen’s supporters failed to carry out any large-scale fraud thanks to intense international and local scrutiny from civil society groups.
“In the face of massive pressure, they had to abandon their plans,” Rohana Hettiarachchi of the Asian Network for Free Elections told AFP.