By: Caitlin Patrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that Dr. Homa Hoodfar, who was imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin prison since June 6, has been released.
“Canadians are relieved that Dr. Hoodfar has been released from jail and will soon be reunited with her family, friends and colleagues,” Trudeau said in a statement released earlier today.
Canada thanks those who helped secure the release of Dr. Homa Hoodfar from jail in Iran. Please read my statement: https://t.co/zVhXhZLJx0
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) September 26, 2016
Hoodfar, a 65-year-old anthropology professor from Concordia University was hospitalized in prison because she was unable to walk or talk. She suffers from a rare neurological disease that causes severe muscle weakness.
Hoodfar was charged by Iranian authorities with collaborating with a hostile government against national security and propaganda against the state. These charges weren’t presented to her lawyer who was frequently denied visits. The prosecutor described it as “dabbling in feminism.” She was in Iran for a personal and research visit.
Her family says she has left Iran and is currently in Oman with friends.
— Sara Yasin (@missyasin) September 26, 2016
“The Government of Canada has been actively and constructively engaged at the highest levels in Dr. Hoodfar’s case – since her ordeal began,” said Trudeau. “In the absence of diplomatic representation of its own in Iran, Canada worked closely with others who were instrumental in helping secure Dr. Hoodfar’s release – most notably Oman, Italy and Switzerland. I would like to extend our sincerest appreciation for their support.”
Alan Shepard, the president of Concordia University, said in a press release that they look forward to welcoming her home.
— Concordia University (@Concordia) September 26, 2016
“The university is thankful that the tireless efforts of governments, diplomats and colleagues across Canada and internationally were successful,” said Shepard. “The Concordia community, in particular faculty and staff members and unions, played a critical role in securing her release. This is a victory for academic freedom.”