‘We continue to support all efforts to secure Homa Hoodfar's return'
That’s how long Homa Hoodfar, a 65-year-old professor emerita at Concordia, has spent alone, behind bars, in Iran’s notorious Evin prison.
Members of the Concordia community have joined an international clarion call for her immediate release.
So far, 5,300 academics, including public intellectual Noam Chomsky and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, have signed a petition urging the Iranian government to free the anthropologist and allow her to return to Canada. More than 41,000 individuals have sent messages through Amnesty International.
Last week, several of Hoodfar’s fellow professors held a press conference at Concordia to further raise awareness of her plight. Montreal news outlets, including The Montreal Gazette and Radio Canada, covered the event.
“This has been especially true of some of my more senior colleagues, who have had the honour and the privilege of working alongside Homa for over 30 years,” he said. “Watching Homa disappear behind the dark curtain of detainment — in one of the world’s most dangerous prisons — has kept them up at night for many months now.”
The press conference came following a protest mounted by Irish academics on the steps of the Iranian Embassy in Dublin earlier the same day.
“They too hope that these baseless charges will be dropped against Homa and that she will be able to return home as quickly as possible.”
“I am getting emails from friends and colleagues from across the country wanting to know how to help. We see the protest this morning in Dublin as just the beginning of a series of national and international events that will take place over the coming weeks.”
Two representatives from the Concordia University Faculty Association (CUFA), Charles Draimin and Françoise Naudillon, were also present and spoke at the press conference. CUFA has been a major supporter of the campaign to secure Hoodfar's release.
“Universities across the globe hold academic freedom as inherent to our existence” he stated in his message. “We continue to support all efforts underway to secure Dr. Hoodfar’s return to Canada and we renew our call for the immediate release of our colleague.”
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Sign the Avaaz petition. (Scroll down for French.)