Ottawa, ON – David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills–Grasslands and Official Opposition Critic for Human Rights and Religious Freedom; and the Official Opposition critic for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Peter Kent, Member of Parliament for Thornhill, have issued the following statement following reports on the deteriorating health of Homa Hoodfar, a Montreal professor and Canadian citizen who has been placed in solitary confinement in Iran’s Evin Prison since her arrest on June 6, 2016:
“We demand that the Liberal government begin to take Homa Hoodfar’s situation seriously. Media reports suggest that Ms. Hoodfar has been hospitalized as a result of conditions in solitary confinement. Professor Hoodfar has consistently been denied adequate medical treatment for her condition; contact with her family, lawyer, or Canada’s diplomatic representatives; as well as due process under Iranian law. We urge the Liberal government to intensify its efforts along all channels to secure her immediate release and return to Canada.
“Before being elected, the Liberals stood for strong sanctions and regime change in Iran – a regime that has long-demonstrated complete disregard for freedom of expression, freedom of association, the rule of law and the human rights of its own citizens. In 2012, then-Liberal Foreign Affairs critic, Dominic Leblanc said that previous sanctions on Iran ‘simply do not go far enough’ and that ‘Canada must strengthen its efforts to encourage regime change.’ (Dominic LeBlanc press release, December 11, 2012).
“Now they seem only interested in cozying up to a regime that openly violates international human rights standards. This is typical Liberal hypocrisy. Canadians rightly remain skeptical of Justin Trudeau’s plan to end sanctions and ‘re-engage’ with a regime that cannot be trusted on human rights.
“We urge the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs to more aggressively assert Canadians’ concerns and demand that the Iranian regime respect due process under the law, as well as Ms. Hoodfar's human rights.”