An Appeal for Homa Hoodfar

Against the Current, No. 183, July-August 2016

PROFESSOR HOMA HOODFAR, a prominent Canadian-Iranian anthropologist at Concordia University in Montreal specializing in issues of reproductive rights, the role of women in politics, as well as the intersections of gender with development and public health, traveled to Iran in early 2016 for a family visit and scholarly research.

As reported by Middle East Report Online, Hoodfar “was scheduled to depart the country on March 10, but on the preceding evening Revolutionary Guards officers went to her home and confiscated her passport, as well as her personal computer, cellular phone and other items. Since mid-March she has been repeatedly interrogated, apparently with the aim of tying her scholarly work and research to political activity of which the state disapproves.

“Hoodfar was arrested on June 6 after being summoned for still another interrogation. She is being held incommunicado and without charge in Evin prison in Tehran. Neither her lawyer nor her family have been permitted to see her since her arrest, nor have they been given any reason why she is being detained. More worrisome is that Hoodfar’s family has not been allowed to give her the medication she needs to treat a chronic neurological condition.

“Homa Hoodfar’s arrest and detention are a violation of the rights to freedom of thought, opinion and speech guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Islamic Republic of Iran is a signatory. We join Amnesty International, the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association and other organizations in calling for her prompt, unconditional release and the immediate return of her passport and personal effects.”

Information and an online petition can be accessed at To subscribe to Middle East Report Online (a free service of the Middle East Research and Information Project), email

July-August 2016, ATC 183