Homa Hoodfar, Montreal Professor Jailed In Iran, ‘can hardly walk or talk,’ Family Says

August 31, 2016

A Canadian-Iranian professor who was arrested by Iranian authorities on June 6, has been hospitalized in Iran, according to her family in Canada.


The 65-year-old scholar travelled to her home country in February, principally for personal reasons, but she also continued her academic research while in the country, her family said. Her trip coincided with parliamentary elections during which a record number of women were elected as MPs, mostly allied with the moderate administration of Hassan Rouhani. 


In a statement released Tuesday, Homa Hoodfar’s family stated that the Concordia professor was hospitalized due to “rapidly declining health” after being “held in solitary confinement in Evin prison” in Iran. "We are very concerned about her situation because of her hospitalization," her niece, Amanda Ghahremani, told The Canadian Press


“She was very disoriented, severely weakened, and could hardly walk or talk,” the statement said.

The Concordia University professor was being investigated for “dabbling in feminism,” they said.

She travelled to Iran in February to see family and conduct academic research.

She was initially arrested in March, shortly before she was to return home, but was released on bail.

She was arrested again on June 6 on unknown charges and has not been allowed to contact her family or her lawyer since then, according to her family.


“Given the alarming news of Homa’s hospitalization and declining health, we are left with no choice but to publicize these travesties of justice widely, as it has become clear that the authorities are not prioritizing her health and do not intend to respect Homa’s due process rights under Iranian law,” said Amanda Ghahremani, Professor Hoodfar’s niece and legal representative in Canada.


Hoodfar was among three dual nationals and a foreigner arrested and charged by Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard.

The court authorities, ‘have tried to dismiss the lawyer chosen by Professor Hoodfar,’ the statement says. ‘It also seems to demonstrate an intention to completely isolate Professor Hoodfar and bring her to a point to make a false confession.’



Endangered Scholars Worldwide is gravely concerned over the ongoing detention of Canadian- Iranian Professor Hoodfar, a professor of anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal. ESW calls for letters, emails, and faxes respectfully urging authorities in Iran to investigate the situation, to ensure Prof. Hoodfar well-being while in custody, to ensure that any charges or convictions related to Prof. Hoodfar peaceful exercise of protected human rights are lifted, and that in the interim, her case is addressed in a manner consistent with internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial and detention, in accordance with Iran’s obligations under international law.



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