The Homa Hoodfar Case - Lawyers Without Borders Canada and Barreau du Québec offer their support

MONTREAL, July 20, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC) and the Barreau du Québec are gravely concerned about the fate of internationally renowned author, anthropologist, and retired Concordia University professor Homa Hoodfar. LWBC and the Barreau du Québec are united in urging Iranian authorities to meet their obligations under Iranian law and international law applicable to Iran. "We want professor Hoodfar and her friends and family to know they have our full support and that they can count on Lawyers Without Borders and the Barreau du Québec," stated Claudia P. Prémont, Ad. E., President of Barreau du Québec.

"The failure to reveal the charges against professor Hoodfar, the limits and constraints that seem to be imposed on her attorney, the lack of clarity surrounding the case, and the treatment professor Hoodfar has received to date bring back dark memories for Canadians and raise serious questions regarding compliance with Iranian law and international law applicable to Iran", stated LWBC Executive Director Pascal Paradis, Ad. E. "Like any other Iranian citizen, professor Hoodfar has the right to full answer and defense under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran has been a party since 1975", adds Pascal Paradis.

The Barreau du Québec and LWBC hope Iranian authorities will ensure that professor Hoodfar can be effectively represented by a lawyer of her choosing and that the reasons for her detention will be made public without further delay. LWBC and the Barreau du Québec urge Iran to respect its obligation to ensure that Ms. Hoodfar's living conditions meet the basic standards of human dignity and that she is not subjected to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, as stated in the United Nations (UN) Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners and the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders.

According to available information, professor Hoodfar, who is also citizen of Canada and Ireland and resides in Montreal, was arrested on June 6 while in Iran for personal reasons and to carry out research related to her work as an anthropologist. Criminal charges have been filed against her, but the nature of these charges has not yet been revealed, not even to her family or her lawyer. Professor Hoodfar's arrest comes three months after she was first questioned by the counterespionage service of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in early March when time agents seized a large number of her personal items, including her passports, her identity papers, and her computer. Since that date, she has been barred from leaving Iran and repeatedly subjected to interrogation.

In the early days of her detention, the family and lawyer of professor Hoodfar sent her the medication she needs essential to maintaining her health, but they haven't received confirmation of their reception by the authorities responsible.

LWBC and the Barreau du Québec applaud the approach taken by the Government of Canada, which has stated its intention to actively assist professor Hoodfar, and they ask the government to remain vigilant and intervene with Iranian authorities whenever the opportunity presents itself.

LWBC and the Barreau du Québec will continue to closely monitor this case and offer to collaborate with her family, friends, and representatives.

Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC)

Lawyers Without Borders Canada (LWBC) is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to international cooperation whose mission is to help defend the human rights of those most vulnerable by advocating for access to justice and legal representation. LWBC is active in over 15 countries.

Barreau du Québec

The Barreau du Québec is the Professional Order representing over 25,500 lawyers. Its positions are adopted by its elected governing authorities following analyses and recommendations by its advisory committees. To ensure the protection of the public, the Barreau du Québec oversees professional legal practice, promotes the rule of law, enhances the image of the profession, and supports members in their practice. 

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SOURCE Barreau du Québec

For further information: Martine Meilleur, coordonnatrice, Service des communications, Barreau du Québec, 514 954-3489 ou medias@barreau.qc.ca

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