Middle East studies in the News
Concordia University Professors Make Public Plea for Homa Hoodfar's Release
by Emily Campbell
Concordia University academics are switching tactics from quiet diplomatic support to public pressure to secure the release of professor Homa Hoodfar who has been held in Iran's notorious Evin prison for 93 days.
"We want to impress upon everybody today, and most forcefully request the Canadian and Irish governments and most of all the Iranian government to let Homa go, and bring her home." said Kimberly Manning, Principal at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University.
A protest was held at the Iranian embassy in Ireland yesterday, Hoodfar has dual Irish and Canadian citizenship, and academics are hopeful that good diplomatic relations between Ireland and Iran will help negotiations.
Hoodfar was arrested in Tehran last March, charged with 'collaborating with a hostile government against national security and of propaganda against the state' in connection to her academic work on women's status in the Muslim world.
Last week her family was informed that her health is failing in prison which professor Marc Lafrance says spurred their public outcry.
"Many of my colleagues have struggled with how to live with the knowledge that one of the most generous and kindhearted people they know, the physically frail, but intellectually formidable Homa Hoodfar, has been held in solitary confinement for 93 days," he said.
They had initially chosen to allow government diplomats to spearhead securing her release - but her mounting health problems demanded more aggressive tactics says Manning.
"This is an emergency, this is a life or death situation," she said. "Right now we don't even know whether Dr. Hoodfar is still alive."
Over 5000 academics worldwide have signed a petition in her support and more events are planned locally to keep up public pressure for her release.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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