Middle East studies in the News
Lawyers Without Borders, Quebec Bar Pledge Support For Hoodfar
by Michelle Lalonde
Two influential legal organizations — Lawyers Without Borders Canada and the Quebec Bar — called on Iran Wednesday to make public immediately the charges against retired Concordia Professor Homa Hoodfar, who is being held in an Iranian prison for unspecified reasons.
Hoodfar, an anthropologist who normally resides in Montreal, was arrested in Iran on June 6. A citizen of Iran and Ireland, as well as Canada, Hoodfar was visiting Iran earlier this year for personal reasons and to do research. She was first questioned by the counter-espionage service of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in early March. Agents of the Guardians seized her computers and identification papers, and submitted her to repeated and lengthy interrogation. Her lawyer has only been told that criminal charges have been laid against her.
"The failure to reveal the charges against professor Hoodfar, the limits and constraints that seem to be imposed on her attorney, the lack of clarity surrounding the case, and the treatment professor Hoodfar has received to date ... raise serious questions regarding compliance with Iranian law an dinternational law applicable to Iran," said Lawyers Without Borders Canada Executive Director Pascal Paradis. "Like any other Iranian citizen, professor Hoodfar has the right to full answer and defence under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran has been a party since 1975."
Claudia P. Preémont, president of the Quebec Bar, the professional order representing Quebec's 25,500 lawyers, said Hoodfar's friends and family can count on the bar's support and collaboration. The two organizations called on the government of Canada to remain vigilant on this case and to intervene with Iranian authorities whenever possible.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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