Success: Feminist Scholar Released From Solitary Confinement


Target: Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran

Goal: Thank Iran for freeing a prisoner of conscience detained solely for her interest in women’s rights.

Iran recently cracked down on women’s rights activists, in part by arresting and imprisoning Dr. Homa Hoodfar, an anthropologist whose interest lies in women’s rights and development. However, Dr. Hoodfar has been released after an outcry from activists all over the world, including those here at Force Change. Sign the petition and thank Iranian authorities for allowing her to continue her work.

Dr. Hoodfar, who holds citizenship in Canada, Ireland, and Iran, had traveled to Iran to “visit her family and conduct research on women’s participation in elections since 1906,” Amnesty International reports. She was arrested and held in solitary confinement for months on end. During that time, she was denied access to her lawyer on several occasions–in fact, she only met with him once over the course of her confinement. Furthermore, authorities reportedly refused to give her lawyer access to her case file.

However, after harsh criticism from all over the world, Iran released Dr. Hoodfar, who immediately returned to Canada via Oman. This is an extremely positive development that deserves to be celebrated. Sign this petition to thank Iranian authorities for releasing Dr. Homa Hoodfar.


Dear President Rouhani,

Thank you very much for releasing Dr. Homa Hoodfar from her months-long detention in solitary confinement. I am happy to see Iran taking positive steps toward a brighter future, and I urge you to continue along this path until all arbitrarily or unfairly detained prisoners are free.

Dr. Hoodfar, an anthropologist who was researching female voter turnout in Iranian elections, was accused of creating an environment that could lead to a “soft overthrow” of the government. She was kept in solitary confinement for months, and during that time she was only allowed to meet with her lawyer once, according to reports. She also had extremely limited access to her family. Meanwhile, her lawyer was never allowed to see her case file; he was only verbally informed of the charges against his client.

Dr. Homa Hoodfar’s arrest and detention have been riddled with human rights violations from beginning to end and I am glad that she is finally free. I congratulate you on allowing her to continue with her important academic work.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: درفش کاویانی

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