Henda Ayari (First Plaintiff)
Ayari is the first person to accuse Tariq Ramadan of rape. However, after about a year of investigations, she has no evidence to back up her accusation.
The accusation thus remains based solely on her word. Her own family, including her eldest son and her former sister-in-law, as well as acquaintances, have formally testified or agreed to testify that Ayari suffers from manipulative and mythomaniac tendencies.
Furthermore, Ayari has not brought forward any witness to support her testimonial. From the days following the alleged rape, no-one has corroborated any physical, psychological or emotional after effects. On the contrary, a close friend of Ayari’s who was expected to testify on her behalf has further contradicted and invalidated her story.
Years before the accusation, Henda Ayari appeared in the spotlight as the “ex-Salafist who liberated herself from Islamism to become a free, modern woman”.
She promotes herself as a “survivor of Salafism” and a role model of “feminist, laicist, anti-Islamist emancipation”. On her Facebook page and twitter account, she mixes Islamism with Nazism, as well as pro-Palestinian activists with anti-Semites.
Auditioned by the judges, Ayari’s close friend Malica A. described her meeting with Ayari the day after the alleged events. She declared Ayari was then “in her normal state, looking happy and thriving; she never mentioned any rape or incident, and she had no suspicious marks on her face or anywhere else”.
In the media, Ayari claimed to be “terrified” by Ramadan to the point that “even pronouncing his name was difficult”. Yet, more than 200 emails sent by Ayari to Ramadan have since been retrieved, in which she was asking Ramadan to meet her, and not to cut her off. Her messages are very explicit, “I know you will never be in love with me, but next week, you will be between my thighs.”
Ayari, after seeing her initial testimonial contradicted by the legal expertise, changed both the date and the place of the alleged event: from “sometime between March and April” to May 26, 2012. To support this new date, Ayari provided the judges with “unquestionable evidences” (her personal notebook and bank statements). However, the expertise (eye witness testimonial and contradicting weather forecast) have proved her wrong; the expertise shows her attending her brother’s wedding that day.
Today, Ayari is no longer trying to offer evidence to back up her accusations, nor does she try to justify the contradictions. Unfortunately, it is based on these changing and contradicting testimonials and false evidences that Tariq Ramadan remains incarcerated.