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Int'l appeal to France to release Tariq Ramadan

BRUSSELS, June 14 (KUNA) -- A large number of western and Muslim scholars, thinkers and academics Thursday appealed in a letter to France to release Tariq Ramadan, a European Muslim intellectual and professor of contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University in the UK.
Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Al Banna, also runs a think-tank in Brussels, called the "European Muslim Network." He has been remanded in a French prison and denied bail following allegations of rape, which he vehemently denies, said the letter.
Imprisoned for more than four months, Tariq has been denied proper medical treatment for a serious medical condition and was denied access to his full court file, notes the letter.
Among the signatories of the appeal are the English author Karen Armstrong; the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor; British filmmaker Ken Loach; British journalist Peter Oborne; Professor John Esposito of Georgetown University and renowned Muslim academic Hamza Yusuf.
"It is not for us to judge Professor Ramadan's guilt or innocence. We fully recognize the rights of complainants to have their case heard without prejudice or injury to their honor. But we wish to remind the country that affirmed the inalienability of human rights and equality; the importance of respecting the principles that guarantee the integrity of French justice," said the letter.
"Thus, we ask the question: Why was Mr. Ramadan deprived of bail during the preliminary inquiry? This although he voluntarily went to the interrogation and gave all the guarantees required?," it said.
The signatories concluded: "We ask our French friends: did we have to get here ?!" (end) nk.msa