Iranian Revolutionary guard arrest Canadian-Iranian professor
Homa Hoodfar, a Canadian-Iranian professor of social anthropology at Montreal’s Concordia University, is the latest victim in the ever-expanding list of dual nationals targeted by the Islamic regime since Iran’s signing of the nuclear deal with world powers.
Hoodfar was arrested earlier this week after almost three months of repeated questioning by the Iranian Intelligence service. This case comes amid a widening targeting Iranians with western ties, likely at the hands of hard-liners opposed to the accord.
Several Iranian dual nationals from the Unites States, Canada, the United Kingdom and France have been arrested over the past few months frequently accused of espionage or collaborating with a hostile government.
Hoodfar, 65, traveled to Iran in early February not only to see family after the death of her husband, but to also continue her academic research. Her niece Amanda Ghahremani said. Her visit to the country also coincided with parliamentary elections during which a record number of women were elected as MPs.
Two day before she was supposed to depart the country in March, Iran’s revolutionary guard raided Hoodfar’s home seizing her belongings and passports.
On Monday 6, the revolutionary guard summoned the professor at Iran’s most notorious Evin prison since then she’s been held incommunicado. Her family decided to go public by talking to the Canadian media in Montreal. Her family only decided to go public now because they thought the arrest and interrogation was a result of a misunderstanding an that it would soon end.
Hoodfar’s sister said on Wednesday that she is very worried for her health, “She suffers from a rare neurological illness; she often has very bad headaches.”
“We’re very confused and baffled by what’s going on because those who know Homa either personally or through her academic work know she’s … someone who’s incredibly even-handed and balanced,” Ghahremani told The Associated Press. “She’s not political. She’s not an activist. And if anything, she has worked to improve the lives of women in different contexts, including Iran.”
Canada has not had an embassy in Iran since the Canada’s conservative government at the time cut diplomatic ties in 2012 over the Islamic republics nuclear program.
The Canadian foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion said “We will do everything we can (by) working with the like-minded countries that are in Iran.” Since the closing of the Canadian embassy in 2012, Italy has protected Canada’s interests in the Islamic state.
Hadi Ghaemi from the New York-based international campaign for human rights in Iran (ICHRI) said “Hoodfar’s arrest was another sign of intolerance and suspicion towards dual nationals who travel to Iran and just want to contribute to their homeland by academic work.”