ACTION ALERT: Dr. Homa Hoodfar

Dr. Homa Hoodfar, a highly respected university professor at Concordia University, Montreal has been arrested and detained in Iran's notorious Evin prison on Monday 6, June 2016. She is an anthropologist who conducts ethnographic research across the Middle East, as well on Muslims living in the West. Her research is known to be balanced and several of her studies highlight the opportunities and high status that women have availed of in various Muslim countries, including in Iran. Her arrest is incomprehensible given that she has never been involved in politics of any sort.

We request the Iranian authorities to provide Dr Hoodfar immediate access to her family and lawyer, ensure she has the medicines she requires for her neurological illness, and release Dr Hoodfar and to return her passport.

For more information, see: homahoodfar.org


ACTION ALERT

Dr. Homa Hoodfar, a highly respected university professor at Concordia University, Montreal has been arrested and detained in Iran's notorious Evin prison on Monday 6, June 2016.

Hoodfar, 65, is an internationally renowned and widely published anthropologist who studies a range of issues related to women’s roles and status in Muslim contexts.

Born in Iran, Hoodfar has been living in Montreal for 30 years. A Canadian, Irish and Iranian national, Professor Hoodfar travelled to Iran in February this year to see her family. Shortly before she was to return home, she was arrested in March, but released on bail. After being interrogated by authorities for months, Hoodfar was once again summoned for interrogation on Monday June 6th and imprisoned.

It is not clear what the charges against Dr. Hoodfar are. Her arrest is incomprehensible given that she has never been involved in politics of any sort. She is an anthropologist who conducts ethnographic research across the Middle East, as well on Muslims living in the West. Indeed, her research is known to be balanced and several of her studies highlight the opportunities and high status that women have availed of in various Muslim countries, including in Iran. She is very much a patriot when it comes to Iran, and often argues that change must come from within through internal processes in societies and working within religious parametres. For instance, in one of her writings, she showcases women volunteer health workers in Iran, by highlighting how they have “acquired a sense of self-fulfillment and self-worth,” within the religious context of Iran.

Professor Hoodfar is appreciated everywhere for her unprejudiced views of politics and history. She is a great proponent of giving voice to Third-world women, particularly Muslim women. She was among the pioneer scholars to highlight Muslim women’s public roles that have been justified through religious precepts. Her writings have greatly contributed to challenging the essentialised portrayals of Muslim women that was prominent in Western scholarship.  In a ground-breaking book on the Muslim Veil in North America, Prof. Hoodfar writes about the significance of veiling as a visible marker of Islam in the West, as well as an adoptive strategy.

It is of deep concern that, following her arrest, Dr. Hoodfar is not being allowed to see her lawyer or contact family and that her relatives have not been able to ensure she has the medication she needs. Dr. Hoodfar suffered a stroke last year and has a neurological illness that needs regular medical attention and treatment.

We therefore request the Iranian authorities to:

  • Provide Dr Hoodfar immediate access to her family and lawyer;
  • Ensure Dr Hoodfar has the medicines she requires for her neurological illness, her condition is monitored and the report shared with her family;
  • Release Dr Hoodfar and return her passport and other essential documents so she can travel freely, to access proper medical care, and to resume her academic work.

 

 

#FreeHoma #FreeHomaNow #FreeHomaHoodfar

 

TAKE ACTION NOW

Please write immediately to the following officials, using the sample letters provided below. We ask you to keep the focus on Homa's balanced scholarly research (in other words, please do not add any other details, or alter the message).  Please make sure to cc: FreeHoma@gn.apc.org on any emails or letters sent.

Here are actions & useful documents below you can use for yourself, or to alert colleagues & friends:

Write to Iranian Embassy in your place of residence: see sample letter below; you will need to add the name/ email of your local Iranian consulate/embassy. Please check the link for more info about local Iranian consulate/embassy:  http://www.embassypages.com/iran

- Write to Canadian and Irish authorities to take up the matter of their citizen: Homa is an Iranian/Canadian/Irish national - see  sample letters below to be sent to Irish + Canadian officials to pressure them to take action.

- Media, social media, blogs : See the social media toolkit below, including the Facbook page and hashtag #FreeHomaHoodfar 

 

Guiding notes

  1. Please do not add any other details, or alter the message
  2. Please replace all text in bold with appropriate information
  3. Please write to each person separately
  4. When writing to your local Iranian Embassy, find the email for the Embassy in your country at: http://www.embassypages.com/iran. If you do not know the Ambassador’s name, just address it to the “Honorable Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran” 
  5. Please delete irrelevant option in bold (and convert prefered option to regular black font) text depending on whether you are writing as an individual or institution
  6. If you are writing on behalf of an institution, please send the letter on your letterhead
  7. For each letter, please bccFreeHoma@gn.apc.org.

Thank You

 

 

Sample Letter to Iranian Authorities

 

Authorities to write to and addresses

 

1. The Honorable Dr. Hassan Rouhani

    President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square

   Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

   c/o His Excellency Gholam Ali Khoshroo, the Iranian Ambassador to the UN    email: iran@un.int

2. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
    Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    c/o H.E. Mr. Gholamali Khoshroo
   Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
   622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
   New York, NY 10017, USA
   email: iran@un.int
   fax: +1 (212) 867-7086

 

3. Honorable Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran

For more info about local Iranian consulate/embassy: http://www.embassypages.com/iran

   email________________

   Fax_________________

                                                                                                                                                                            [DATE]

 

Your Excellency,

 

We/I write to express our/my shock at hearing that Dr. Homa Hoodfar was arrested on June 6th 2016 and detained in Evin prison in Tehran.

We/I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Dr. Homa Hoodfar, is a highly respected university professor at Concordia University, Montreal where she has been residing for 30 years. She is an internationally renowned and widely published anthropologist who studies a range of issues related to the role of woman in Middle Eastern societies and their struggles.

We/I understand that Professor Hoodfar travelled to Iran in February this year to see her family. Shortly before she was to return home, she was arrested in March, but released on bail. After being interrogated for months, Professor Hoodfar was once again summoned for interrogation on Monday June 6th and then imprisoned.

Dr. Hoodfar’s arrest is incomprehensible. She is not a political activist, but an anthropologist who conducts ethnographic research across the Middle East. Indeed, her research is known to be balanced and several of her studies highlight the opportunities and high status that women have availed of in various Muslim countries, including in Iran. This is the case for example, of her recent work that showcases women volunteer health workers in Iran’s health system. As stated in the report Health Workers and Health Knowledge as Avenues of Empowerment, the “research project has created the space for women we interviewed to reflect on their acquired sense of self-fulfillment and self-worth; and how they have overcome the problems and challenges that accompanied their new role in the public sphere as health volunteers.”

Professor Hoodfar is highly recognized internationally for her unprejudiced views of local cultures and histories. She is very much a patriot when it comes to Iran, and often argues that change must come from within through internal processes in societies and working within existing cultural parametres. She was among the pioneer scholars to highlight Muslim women’s public roles that have been justified through religious precepts. Her writings have greatly contributed to challenging the essentialised portrayals of Muslim women that was prominent in Western scholarship until recently.

We/I are/am deeply concerned that, following her arrest, Dr. Hoodfar is not being allowed to see her lawyer or contact family and that her relatives have not been able to ensure she has the medication she needs for a serious neurological condition.

We/I would draw your attention to the fact that Dr. Hoodfar suffered a stroke last year and because of her illness, she requires regular medical attention and treatment for which she needs to return to Canada.

We/I therefore respectfully request that the Iranian authorities:

* Provide Dr Hoodfar immediate access to her family and lawyer;

* Ensure Dr Hoodfar has the medicines she requires for her neurological illness, her condition is monitored and the report shared with her family;

* Release Dr Hoodfar and return her passport and other essential documents so she can travel freely, to access proper medical care, and to resume her academic work.

 

Yours sincerely

 

NAME_____________

(If relevant) INSTITUTION ____________

(If relevant) DESIGNATION

COUNTRY______________ 

 

Guiding notes

  1. Please do not add any other details, or alter the message
  2. Please replace all text in bold with appropriate information
  3. Please write to each person separately
  4. Please delete irrelevant option in bold (and convert prefered option to regular black font) text depending on whether you are writing as an individual or institution
  5. If you are writing on behalf of an institution, please send the letter on your letterhead
  6. For each letter, please bccFreeHoma@gn.apc.org.

Thank You

 
 

Sample Letter to Canadian Authorities [Irish sample, below]:

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Justin.Trudeau@parl.gc.ca

 

Minister Stephane Dion

Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario,K1A 0A6
stephane.dion@parl.gc.ca

 

                                                                                                                                                                         [DATE]

 

Request for intervention to secure the Immediate Release of Professor Homa Hoodfar

I/We are writing to ask respectfully for your intervention for the immediate release of Professor Homa Hoodfar, a world renowned Canadian-Iranian scholar who was arrested in Iran and is believed to be held in Tehran's Evin prison.

For the past 30 years, Professor Hoodfar has made significant scholarly contributions to build bridges of understanding through Middle Eastern Studies at McGill and Concordia Universities in Canada. She is the author of numerous books and articles, specializing in gender and family issues.

I/We am/are writing to express our deep concern for her safety and frustration over her detention in Iran. Professor Hoodfar went to Iran to visit her family earlier this year. In early March 2016, she was taken in for interrogation and her passports, computer and other things confiscated. Since then Professor Hoodfar has been subjected to repeated interrogations and accusations, for which no evidence has been presented. She was once again summoned for interrogation on 6 June 2016, and then imprisoned.

Neither her lawyer nor her family have been granted permission to visit her or provide her medication. She suffers from a rare neurological condition – myasthenia gravis – that requires close medical supervision and medication. Furthermore, their inquiries about the reason for her arrest and the charges against her have remained unanswered.

I/We are deeply troubled by the manner in which Professor Hoodfar has been treated, and worry about her declining health. Additionally, Prof Hoodfar has a number of ongoing academic obligations in Canada, including graduate students who depend on her guidance to complete their degrees.

I/we urge the Government of Canada to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of this distinguished scholar, and achieve her immediate and unconditional release.

[Name]

[Affiliation]

[Country]

 

Guiding notes

  1. Please do not add any other details, or alter the message
  2. Please replace all text in bold with appropriate information
  3. Please write to each person separately
  4. Please delete irrelevant option in bold (and convert prefered option to regular black font) text depending on whether you are writing as an individual or institution
  5. If you are writing on behalf of an institution, please send the letter on your letterhead
  6. For each letter, please bccFreeHoma@gn.apc.org.

Thank You

 

 

Sample Letter to Irish Authorities:

 

President Michael D. Higgins

Aras an Uachtarain

Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, Ireland

Tel:  +353 (0) 1 617 1000

Email: info@president.ie

Twitter: @PresidentIRL

 

Minister Charles Flanagan

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Iveagh House, 80 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (0) 1 408 2000

Email: charles.flanagan@oir.ie

 

Mr. Alireza Feizollahi
Tehran Honorary Consul

Honorary Consul of Ireland
S.J. Assadabadi Avenue
Corner of 50th Street, No. 2/6, First Floor, Tehran, Iran

Phone: +98 21 8804 1925
E-mail: feizollahi@arfconsult.com

 

                                                                                                                                                                                 [DATE]

 

Request for intervention to secure the Immediate Release of Professor Homa Hoodfar

 

I/We are writing to ask respectfully for your intervention for the immediate release of Professor Homa Hoodfar, a world renowned scholar who was arrested in Iran and is believed to be held in Tehran's Evin prison.

For the past 30 years, Professor Hoodfar, who is an Irish national, has made significant scholarly contributions to build bridges of understanding through Middle Eastern Studies at McGill and Concordia Universities in Canada. She is the author of numerous books and articles, specializing in gender and family issues.

I/We are writing to express my/our deep concern for her safety and frustration over her detention in Iran. Professor Hoodfar went to Iran to visit her family earlier this year. In early March 2016, she was taken in for interrogation and her passports, computer and other things confiscated. Since then Professor Hoodfar has been subjected to repeated interrogations and accusations, for which no evidence has been presented. She was once again summoned for interrogation on 6 June 2016, and then imprisoned.

Neither her lawyer nor her family have been granted permission to visit her or provide her medication. She suffers from a rare neurological condition – myasthenia gravis – that requires close medical supervision and medication. Furthermore, their inquiries about the reason for her arrest and the charges against her have remained unanswered. Furthermore, Professor Hoodfar has a number of ongoing academic obligations in Canada, including graduate students who depend on her guidance to complete their degrees.

I/We am/are deeply troubled by the manner in which Professor Hoodfar has been treated, and worry about her declining health.

I/We urge the Government of Ireland to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of this distinguished scholar, and achieve her immediate and unconditional release.

 

[Name]
[Affiliation]

[Country]

 

Media, social media and blogs attachments: 

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