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On Iranian-Canadian Professor Homa Hoodfar's Arrest and Detainment in Iran's Evin Prison

[Homa Hoodfar] [Homa Hoodfar]

[The below press release and petition were issued as part of the mobilzations to highlight Homa Hoodfar's detainment in Iran and call for her release]

Press Release

Iran / London / Montreal (8 June 2016)
Revised 9 June 2016 for factual accuracy

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 the security forces of the Counter Intelligence Unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, invaded her home on 10 March 2016 shortly before Professor Hoodfar was to leave the country, and confiscated all her personal belongings, including her passports, research documents, and computer. She was then requested to provide a bail, and was prohibited from traveling out of the country. Subsequently she had been subjected to numerous lengthy and gruelling interrogations for the last three months.

On Monday 6 June Professor Hoodfar was arrested after yet another such interrogation without any indication of the reasons or charges for which they were detaining her. 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 for a family visit and to conduct some historical and archival research on women's participation in public life. 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 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), +44 7729 123245

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

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


A number of renowned academics, such as Professors Leila Ahmed, Noam Chomsky, and Richard Falk have signed on to a petition asking for the release of world-renowned anthropologist, Homa Hoodfar.  Click here to access/sign. 


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