Lawyers associations call on Iran to detail case against Homa Hoodfar
Concordia University professor arrested in Tehran in June, indicted on unknown charges
Posted: Jul 21, 2016 8:35 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 21, 2016 8:35 AM ET
Photo: Canadian-Iranian scholar Homa Hoodfar has been held incommunicado in Tehran’s Evin prison since June 6. She is said to have been indicted by the Iranian authorities. (Canadian Press)
Lawyers Without Borders Canada and Quebec’s Bar association are calling on Iran’s government to make public its case against Homa Hoodfar, the Iranian-Canadian academic currently imprisoned in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison on unknown charges.
Hoodfar was first arrested in March by the counter-intelligence unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They told her she could not leave Iran to return to Canada.
Over the next two months, relatives say she was interrogated without a lawyer and then summoned to the prosecutor’s office at Evin prison where she was allowed to post bond and was released on bail.
She was then re-arrested on June 6 and charges against her have now been filed, but Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi has not detailed the charges she faces.
Hoodfar, who holds both Canadian and Iranian passports, is an anthropologist who teaches at Concordia University in Montreal. She’s a world renowned expert on sexuality and gender in Islam, and was in Iran conducting research at the time of her arrest.
International law applicable to Iran
Lawyers Without Borders Canada and the Quebec Bar Association are calling on the Iranian government to detail its case against Hoodfar without delay and to respect her right to effective representation by a lawyer of her choosing.
"The failure to reveal the charges against professor Hoodfar, the limits and constraints that seem to be imposed on her attorney, the lack of clarity surrounding the case, and the treatment professor Hoodfar has received to date bring back dark memories for Canadians and raise serious questions regarding compliance with Iranian law and international law applicable to Iran," Pascal Paradis, executive director of Lawyers Without Borders Canada, said in a statement.
"Like any other Iranian citizen, professor Hoodfar has the right to full answer and defense under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran has been a party since 1975", he added.
The groups are also calling on Iran to ensure that Hoodfar is kept in "living conditions that meet the basic standards of human dignity" and that she is not subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Hoodfar suffers from a neurological illness and had a mild stroke last year, and her family fears she doesn’t have access to the medication she requires.
That concern was echoed by Amnesty International in a new report issued this week that claims Iranian authorities regularly put political prisoners’ lives at risk by denying them medical care.