Swiss open rape case against Tariq Ramadan

In this file photo taken on March 26, 2016, Swiss Islamologist Tariq Ramadan takes part in a conference on the theme "Live together", in Bordeaux. (AFP)
Updated 16 September 2018

Swiss open rape case against Tariq Ramadan

  • The Tribune de Geneve newspaper reported that authorities will open a formal criminal inquiry into allegations that Ramadan raped a woman in a Geneva hotel in 2008

GENEVA: Prosecutors in Geneva have opened a rape and sexual misconduct investigation against Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, who has been detained in France since February on separate rape charges, Swiss media reported Sunday.
The Tribune de Geneve newspaper quoted justice ministry spokesman Henri Della Casa as saying that authorities had decided to open a formal criminal inquiry into allegations that Ramadan raped a woman in a Geneva hotel in 2008.
“I confirm the opening of an inquiry,” the paper quoted Della Casa as saying, a key step that indicated the authorities believed the allegations merit further investigation.
The accuser lodged her complaint in April.
“The prosecutors and Geneva police have worked quickly and worked well,” Romain Jordan, the lawyer representing Ramadan’s Swiss accuser, told AFP in an email.
He described the decision to open a criminal inquiry as “a major advance” that “demonstrates the seriousness of the allegations made by our client.”
Ramadan, a Swiss citizen and Oxford University professor whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, has not yet been interviewed by Swiss prosecutors.
Jordan said that following the opening of a criminal case, Swiss investigators will now have to travel to France to hear Ramadan’s side of the alleged rape.
The 56-year-old scholar, a prominent and controversial figure within Islam, has denied criminal wrongdoing in connection with the French charges and insisted that all relations with his two accusers were fully consensual.
Earlier this year, French judges dismissed a third rape allegation against Ramadan by a French Muslim woman who accused him of raping her nine times between 2013 and 2014.


Militants attack in Indian Kashmir as it locks down for anniversary

Updated 05 August 2020

Militants attack in Indian Kashmir as it locks down for anniversary

  • Authorities blanketed Kashmir with troops, who laid out barbed wire and set up road blacks to prevent demonstrations
  • Kashmir is claimed in full by India and Pakistan, which have gone to war twice over it

SRINAGAR, India: Militants attacked Indian security forces with a grenade and gunfire in Kashmir on Wednesday, defying a strict security lockdown on the first anniversary of the government’s scrapping of the disputed Himalayan region’s autonomy.
There were no immediate reports of casualties, police said.
Authorities blanketed Kashmir with troops, who laid out barbed wire and set up road blacks to prevent demonstrations a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped India’s only Muslim-majority state of its special rights.
The government said the change was necessary to develop the strife-torn region and integrate it with the rest of India but it infuriated many Kashmiris and neighboring Pakistan.
Some critics saw it as part of a pattern by the Hindu-nationalist government aimed at sidelining Muslims. The government denies that.
Kashmir is claimed in full by India and Pakistan, which have gone to war twice over it, and both rule parts of it. Militants have been fighting Indian rule in its part of Kashmir since 1989 in a conflict that has killed at least 50,000 dead, according to official figures.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was due to travel to the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir to mark the anniversary later on Wednesday.
He reiterated a long-standing Pakistani appeal for international intervention to help resolve the dispute over Kashmir between the nuclear-armed neighbors that has bedevilled their ties since the end of British colonial rule in 1947.
“It is imperative that the international community steps in immediately and backs its words of condemnation with practical steps that will force India to reverse its present course against the Kashmiri people,” he said in a statement.
India has ruled out any outside mediation over Kashmir.
In Srinagar, a handful of members of Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gathered at their headquarters to unfurl an Indian flag to mark the occasion. The party had long campaigned for ending Kashmir’s special status.
Party spokesman Altaf Thakur said similar celebrations took place in all district headquarters in the territory. “It is an important and historic day for our party,” Thakur told Reuters.
Elsewhere in Srinagar, police and paramilitary troops enforced the strictest lockdown for several months, stopping public movements, including a proposed meeting of politicians.
“One year later the authorities are still too afraid to allow us to meet, much less carry out any normal political activity. This fear speaks volumes about the true situation on the ground in Kashmir,” former chief minister Omar Abdullah said on Twitter.
Last August’s change in status in Indian Kashmir was accompanied by a communication blackout, widespread restrictions and mass detentions, including of elected leaders.
Most of those measures have been eased, although Internet speeds are still restricted. More recently, many families have been confined indoors because of coronavirus lockdowns. (Additional reporting by Sheree Sardar in ISLAMABAD; Writing by Devjyot Ghoshal Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Robert Birsel)