NCCM calls for the release of Canadian professor detained in Iran

– For Immediate Release –

(Ottawa – June 15, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties and advocacy organization, calls on the federal government to take decisive action to secure the release of Canadian professor Dr. Homa Hoodfar.

According to reports Dr. Hoodfar, who had previously been detained in Iran in March while on a personal visit to conduct research, was arrested earlier this month and has been imprisoned without charge and held incommunicado in Iran’s infamous Evin prison.

“We call on the government, in coordination with international partners, to bring to bear real diplomatic pressure to secure Dr. Hoodfar’s immediate and unconditional release and safe return to Canada, » says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

« Our government has a duty to protect and safeguard Canadians from arbitrary detention and to ensure that detained Canadians are afforded human rights protections and access to consular assistance.”

The Protection Charter, recently launched by Amnesty International Canada in collaboration with the Fahmy Foundation and endorsed by the NCCM, calls on the Canadian government to change practices, revise policies and amend laws as needed to better protect citizens, permanent residents and individuals with close Canadian connections from serious human rights violations in other countries.

Numerous human rights and civil society groups have spoken out and started petitions calling for Dr. Hoodfar’s release and return.

See: Amnesty International Canada petition
See: Avaaz petition

Other Canadians being unjustly held abroad on dubious claims include Bashir Makhtal held in Ethiopia since 2007 and Huseyin Celil held in China since 2006.