Concordia University professor Homa Hoodfar has been jailed in Iran and according to her family she is being investigated for ‘dabbling in feminism and security matters.’
The Tehran public prosecutor spoke to the media on Friday according to Hoodfar’s niece, Amanda Ghahremani, but the family does not know if the Montreal woman has been charged with any crimes. Local media is reporting that the academic was “fomenting a feminist soft revolution,” but Hoodfar’s family says those accusations are “baseless.” According to her niece the Concordia faculty member is an anthropologist who works to improve the lives of women and her online profile on the university’s website says “her teaching and research activities relate to development, culture and gender in the Middle East.”
The 65-year-old travelled to Iran in February to visit family and conduct research but has been in Evin prison since being arrested on June 6. This comes after she was arrested in March and released on bail. The prison housing her is known for jailing intellectuals, hence it’s nickname Evin University, and has a history of rape and torture.
“We’re very concerned that we have no news from her, that the family hasn’t been able to see her, that the lawyer hasn’t been able to see her, and we don’t know her mental state, her health, or the conditions of her detention,” Ghahremani revealed to The Canadian Press.
“All the work she’s done has always been within the legal parameters of the context in which she does her work,” Ghahremani said.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministry is involved in the case according to a spokesperson.
Amnesty International is calling on the Iranian government to release Hoodfar, calling her a prisoner of conscience.