Iranian-Canadian Academic Detained During Visit to Iran

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Homa Hoodfar, an Iranian-Canadian scholar and expert on gender and development in Islam, was arrested on June 6, 2016 during a visit to Iran after being summoned to Evin Prison in Tehran.

A press release issued by her family said Hoodfar, a dual citizen who lives in Québec where she teaches at Concordia University in Montreal, had her passport confiscated and was banned from leaving Iran on March 9, 2016—two days before she was due to return to Canada.

Her home was searched by Revolutionary Guards agents who took away several personal items including her mobile phone, laptop, identification and academic research papers. Since then she had been interrogated several times.

Hoodfar’s family said in their statement that she had refrained from publicly speaking about the interrogations because she believed she was a victim of “a misunderstanding and did not want to turn it into news.”

The statement added that Hoodfar has recently suffered a stroke and also suffers from a rare nervous disorder, which has worsened due to the psychological pressure of the interrogations.

“We, the Homa Hoodfar family, are very worried about her well-being and hold Judiciary officials responsible for her health,” said the statement. “We ask the Canadian, Irish and Iranian governments to urgently follow up on this case and secure her freedom as soon as possible.” (Hoodfar also holds Irish citizenship.)

The bail for Hoodfar’s release has been set at “more than 100 million tomans” ($33,000 USD), according to the statement.

Hoodfar’s arrest follows a string of arrests and prolonged detainments of dual nationals who have travelled to Iran.

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