Amnesty urges Iran regime to free Canadian academic

Amnesty urges Iran regime to free Canadian academic

Published by on June 11, 2016

homa-hoodfar-400Amnesty International is calling on Iran’s regime to release a Montreal-based university professor who has been in prison since Monday, The Canadian Press reported.
Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, described Homa Hoodfar as a prisoner of conscience.
“The arrest of respected and accomplished scholar, Dr. Homa Hoodfar, is the latest attempt by the Iranian authorities at targeting individuals, including academics, for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and association,” Neve said in a statement Thursday.
“It is deeply troubling that someone whose research focuses on addressing women’s inequality can find herself arbitrarily arrested and held, possibly in solitary confinement, without access to a lawyer and her family.”
Hoodfar, a professor of anthropology at Concordia University, was arrested Monday after being interrogated by authorities, according to her niece, Amanda Ghahremani.
Ghahremani told The Canadian Press on Wednesday the 65-year-old is in the notorious Evin prison after conducting academic research on women in the country.
She said her aunt had not been allowed to contact her lawyer or family and that the nature of the charges against her was unclear.
Amnesty also called on Ottawa to take all possible diplomatic measures to ensure her immediate release and safe return to Canada.
Omar Alghabra, the parliamentary secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion, said the Canadian government is taking the case “very seriously.”
“We’re very concerned about the well-being of Dr. Hoodfar and we want to do everything we can to get her out of there as soon as possible,” he said Thursday.

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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