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Iran: Demanding Pr. Homa Hoodfar be released from Tehran prison

Press Release

Thursday 9 June 2016, by siawi3

Press Release

Iran / London / Montreal (8 June 2016)

For immediate release


Dr Homa Hoodfar, a professor of anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal, was arrested and detained in Iran on 6 June 2016. This comes after a previous arrest on 10 March 2016 by the Counter Intelligence Unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, shortly before Professor Hoodfar was to leave the country. The security forces had invaded her home and confiscated all her personal belongings, including her passports, research documents, and computer. She was subsequently released on bail, but was prohibited from traveling and had been subjected to numerous lengthy and grueling interrogations for the last three months.

On Monday 6 June she was re-arrested after yet another such interrogation. The authorities have not made clear whether Professor Hoodfar is being charged with espionage, sedition, or propaganda against the state. Her lawyer and family have not been allowed to see her, nor has the cause of arrest been explained to them. Furthermore, the authorities have refused to allow Professor Hoodfar’s relatives and lawyer to provide her prescription medication for a rare neurological illness (Myasthenia Gravis) from which she suffers. At 65 years old, Professor Hoodfar’s health is of great concern to her family, especially because she suffered a mild stroke last year.

Professor Hoodfar was in Iran conducting historical and ethnographic research on women’s public role. Her visit coincided with the elections in Iran, during which many new women candidates were elected to the parliament.

Professor Hoodfar is a renowned anthropologist and during the past four decades has been established as a major scholar of the role of women and the family in Muslim societies. Her family, friends, and colleagues are highly concerned about her fragile health. They are outraged by her treatment and the unfounded accusations of sedition brought against her, and hold the Iranian judicial authorities directly responsible for her health.

Professor Hoodfar holds Canadian, Iranian, and Irish citizenship. Her family and colleagues have demanded the rigorous intervention of these governments to bring about her immediate and unconditional release.

Media Contacts:

London: Katayoon Hoodfar (GMT + 1): hkatayoon, +44 7729 123245

Montreal: Amanda Ghahremani (GMT – 8): Amanda.ghahremani, +1 514 915 0920

Chicago: Kaveh Ehsani (GMT – 9): kehsani, +1 312 257 8894