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Minister called to intervene in case of Irish citizen detained in Iran

Homa Hoodfar (65) is a professor and anthropologist based in Canada and is an Irish citizen from her first marriage.

A UNION OF third level teachers has called for urgent action from the the Minister for Foreign Affairs to do with the detention of an Irish citizen in Iran.

The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has called on Minister Charlie Flanagan to intervene in the detention of Professor Homa Hoodfar who has been held in Iran since June.

Hoodfar (65) is a professor and anthropologist based at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and is an Irish citizen from her first marriage.

She was arrested and imprisoned in Iran on 6 June 2016 and her supporters say she has been held in solitary confinement since. She is said to have been charged with collaborating with a hostile government against national security, and propaganda against the state.

According to IFUT, Hoofar suffers from neurological condition, myasthenia gravis, and is being denied medical access while she is detained.

Mike Jennings, general secretary of IFUT, said that the treatment of Hoodfar is worsening.

“In the past week her lawyer was dismissed and another appointed without her consent,” said Jennings.

“Prof Hoodfar is a renowned anthropologist, who has decades of experience working in culture and gender politics.

She visited Iran to meet family and undertake research on women’s participation in politics there. As a ‘security prisoner’ she is being denied access to her doctor and family.

Amnesty International has seen 40,000 people send a message to Iranian authorities calling for Hoodfar’s release.

A number of scholars and academics took part in a protest outside the Iranian Embassy in Dublin earlier this month in protest of her imprisonment.

download (21) Protesters earlier this month.

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Diplomatic relations 

The Canadian and Irish authorities are being urged “to do everything within their diplomatic ambit to secure her release”.

Canada does not have direct diplomatic relations with Iran, but Ireland has an Iranian embassy in Dublin.

“The Irish Federation of University Teachers has written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, urging Ireland to seek the early release of Professor Hoodfar on humanitarian grounds,” said Jennings.

We are willing to provide the Minister with any further information or facilitate a meeting between the Minister and /or his officials with Prof Hoodfar’s relatives in Ireland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has been contacted by for comment.

With reporting from Aoife Barry

Read: Academics protest against imprisonment of Irish citizen in Iran

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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