by Alain Gabon
19 March 2018
On February 17th, we learned from an Agence France Presse (AFP) news release that Ramadan’s first medical examination in prison concluded that his health condition was “incompatible with detention.” The medical document specified: “Since his arrival, this patient has been experiencing unbearable pain in his lower limbs with permanent sensory trouble,” for which the treatments available in jail are drastically insufficient. This official document directly corroborated assessments by Ramadan’s private physicians (one in London, the other in Geneva).
Despite this, the judge decided to prolong Ramadan’s detention and solitary confinement. Further, his wife and children were again denied visitation rights with neither explanation nor justification, a radical measure that falls well outside of French judicial norms, as even confirmed murderers are routinely granted visitation rights. For these reasons, the handling of Tariq Ramadan’s case involves not only the denial of basic legal rights (how could anyone properly prepare a legal defense in such conditions?); it also represents a case of human rights abuse.