London-The nightmare of the arrest of foreigners from Iranian origin has returned after Iranian security forces apprehended a Canadian professor who has recently visited the country.
The family of Canadian-Iranian anthropologist, Homa Hoodfar, said she has been held in Iran since Monday.
She is being held at Evin prison. Her arrest by the Revolutionary Guard came two days before her planned return to Canada, family members said in a statement.
Her belongings were searched and she was held pending interrogation.
Her passport was taken, and Hoodfar was interrogated, family spokeswoman Amanda Ghahremani said.
Hoodfar was held on June 6, the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) said on its website.
“Her home was searched by Revolutionary Guard agents who took away several personal items including her mobile phone, laptop, identification and academic research papers,” the rights group said.
“Since then she had been interrogated several times,” it said.
Hoodfar, 65, is a professor at Concordia University in Montreal, and also holds Irish nationality.
Agence France Presse said that Hoodfar, who has written several works on women and society in Islamic countries, went to Iran in February to do research on women’s public role.
Hoodfar was arrested on March 10 a few days before her planned return to Canada.
“The authorities have not made clear whether Professor Hoodfar is being charged with espionage, sedition, or propaganda against the state. Her lawyer and family have not been allowed to see her, nor has the cause of arrest been explained to them,” the family said.
The Canadian government has said it is actively engaged in the case.
The jailing by the Revolutionary Guard came as the Iranian government led by President Hassan Rouhani hopes to revive relations with Canada.
Since the nuclear agreement has been reached between the West and Iran, the Revolutionary Guard has been accused of implementing measures that obstruct the revival of ties between the Iranian government and Western states.