Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Iranian-Canadian professor held since June released

Published:Tuesday | September 27, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Retired Iranian-Canadian professor Homa Hoodfar.

 

TEHRAN (AP):

Homa Hoodfar, Canadian-Iranian retired professor, was released from prison on "humanitarian grounds" and flown out of Iran yesterday, Iran's state-run news agency said, ending her months of detention alongside other dual nationals swept up by hard-liners in the security services.

Homa Hoodfar returned to Canada via Oman, a brief report on the state-run IRNA news agency said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed her release in a statement, thanking Italy, Switzerland and Oman for their help in the matter.

Hoodfar, 65, was questioned and barred from leaving Iran in March after travelling to the country to visit family following the death of her husband. Her family said she has been held in Tehran's Evin Prison since June. Hoodfar until recently taught anthropology and sociology at Montreal's Concordia University.

In July, Iran announced indictments for Hoodfar and three others, without providing any details about the accusations. In recent weeks, Hoodfar's supporters described her health as deteriorating while she was in solitary confinement, saying she was "barely able to walk or talk".

Hoodfar's supporters had pressed diplomats to discuss her case during the recent United Nations General Assembly in New York. Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the meeting Wednesday, state television reported.

Canada has not had an embassy in Iran since 2012, when its then-Conservative-led government cut diplomatic ties over Tehran's contested nuclear programme and other issues.