In defence of Dr. Homa HOODFAR
At our Annual General Meeting on 11th June 2016, we, the members of Montreal’s South Asian Women’s Community Centre unanimously expressed our deep concern over the arrest and incarceration of Dr. Homa Hoodfar, a respected academic and scholar and Professor Emeritus at Concordia University in Montreal. Dr. Hoodfar has been arrested and detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Evin prison in Tehran since June 6, 2016.
It is believed that her detention by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is a result of a fundamental misinterpretation of her ethnographic research on women in Iran. She has published extensively on diverse topics including poverty, development, women’s labor force and political participation, family law, and refugees in many different countries in the Middle East, Canada, and South Asia. She is known for highlighting Muslim women’s ability to realize their rights within an Islamic framework, and for her critique of essentializing Western stereotypes about veiling.
Dr. Hoodfar’s lawyer has not been granted access to her and she has been denied visits from her family as well as denied medication for a neurological condition. This has raised further concerns for her health and safety.
As a women’s organization dedicated to women’s empowerment and equal rights we call upon the Canadian government to do everything in its power to ensure her immediate and unconditional release and safe return to Canada. We also call upon all those who work with us and support us to lend their voices to the call for her release and safety.
12 June 2016