Iran arrests scholar on gender issues in continuing crackdown on dual nationals

by WorldTribune Staff, June 9, 2016

A Canadian scholar on gender issues and Islam was arrested on June 6 while visiting Iran.

Homa Hoodfar, who teaches at Concordia University in Montreal, is at least the fifth dual-national detained in Iran in recent months, according to the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI).

Homa Hoodfar
Homa Hoodfar

“Her home was searched by (Iran’s elite) Revolutionary Guards agents who took away several personal items including her mobile phone, laptop, identification and academic research papers,” the rights group said. “Since then she had been interrogated several times.”

The ICHRI said the 65-year-old Hoodfar, who also holds an Irish passport, had suffered a stroke in the past and was “feeling under psychological pressure.”

Dual nationals, including those with U.S., French and British passports have been arrested in Iran over security-related issues, according to Iranian Judiciary officials. Iran does not recognize dual nationality.

American-Iranian businessman Siamak Namazi was detained in October 2015 and his father Baquer, a former UNICEF official, was arrested in February.

Nazak Afshar, a French-Iranian former employee of the French embassy in Teheran was arrested when visiting her mother and in April was sentenced to six years in prison.

In April, British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 37-year-old project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the news agency’s charitable arm, was arrested in Teheran by members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, judicial sources said.

British-Iranian businessman Kamal Foroughi was arrested in May 2011, the sources said.

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