On Monday, June 6, 2016, Dr. Homa Hoodfar, a professor of social anthropology and expert on sexuality and gender in Islam at Concordia University, was arrested by Iranian authorities, reportedly on grounds of “co-operating with a foreign state against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Professor Hoodfar, a dual citizen of Canada and Iran, traveled to Iran in February to visit relatives and conduct research. The following month, authorities raided her apartment, confiscated her computer, her passport and her cell phone, and arrested her. She was released on bail shortly thereafter, but was informed that she was not permitted to leave Iran. Over the subsequent two months, she was summoned repeatedly to report to authorities to be interrogated. On Monday, June 6, Dr. Hoodfar was summoned to Evin prison — a facility known for housing intellectuals, associated with numerous reports of torture — and was arrested and taken into custody once again.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the detention and interrogation of a scholar, in apparent retaliation for non-violent exercise of the rights to academic freedom and freedom of expression – conduct which is expressly protected under international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. State authorities have a responsibility not to interfere with the responsible exercise of such rights, and to ensure that the rights of the accused, including due process and fair trial are protected.