Nothing to do with PSP

Hey all, sorry if this is not an appropriate forum for this subject, but I'm reaching out to every contact I have.

My sweetheart's beloved sister-in-law, widow of his older brother, is the Canadian-Iranian academic Homa Hoodfar, who was imprisoned in Iran on Monday. She taught at anthropology at Concordia in Montreal. She nursed her increasingly paralyzed husband valiantly for 2 years as he died of brain cancer, allowing him to die at home, as he wished, a year and a half ago. I think we all know something of the cost of that. She is a wonderful person.

Then she began to reengage with her research in women's involvement with politics in the Muslim world, travelling twice to Iran to witness the recent elections. The second time, as she prepared to depart for Canada, she was detained, her possessions and passports were seized and she was interrogated repeatedly over two months while free on bail. On Monday, with her lawyer barred from the court, she was subject to some sort of proceeding, perhaps charged with treason, and hauled off to the notorious Evin prison.

We are frightened for her. She is 65 and suffers from myasthenia gravis.

She is the sweetest, kindest, bravest woman I have ever met.

The family in Canada and London have just decided to go public with her story after months of attempts at quiet diplomacy. If you google her name, you will see pictures and hear what the Canadian government has to say about it.

I'm writing to raise awareness, to ask for your prayers and good wishes, and to ask any of you who may be so inclined to sign any petitions you might find online - I think there's one started up on Facebook.

Although she was educated in England, her previous husband was Irish, so she carries an Irish passport as well as a Canadian one. If anyone in either country is willing or able to write to or call your government representative on her behalf, please consider that as well. She is deserving of every effort.

Thanks, everyone who has read this far. This community means a great deal to me, as you know, and I just had to share with you this terrible situation. My sweetheart, who cannot do anything to help, is really having a tough time with this, too.

Love and peace to one and all,


53 Replies

  • OMG, Eastern, I will do whatever I can :(

    Audrey (aka auddonz)

  • Thank you, Audrey. I know everyone here has more than enough on their own plate to worry about, but I'm finding it hard to think about anything else but what Homa might be experiencing. I think there's Free Homa Hoodfar page on Facebook. I haven't done the FB thing, but guess this will make me join. Every bit of traffic on such a site is to the good. I appreciate your reply.

    So, how are you? Really. Do tell. Love, Ec

  • My thoughts go out to your friend, it seems like an all too familiar scenario. A British couple are trying to be reunited after his wife went to visit her parents in Iran, when trying to leave she was detained her passport taken from her as was her under 6 month old son. Plight aired on the BBC radio about a month ago, so hope your friend's family can get some national news coverage.

    Good luck in getting Homa home soon, Tim

  • Thanks, Tim. I know of that story, have tried to follow it, and have been especially worried as that young woman seems to have been dropped from the news as far as I can access it. I can imagine her family's anguish. That the current loathsome regime in Iran exists because of US interference in the affairs of that country, installing the awful shah, makes me crazy. The damage we have caused, the death and destruction. And now my dear (commonlaw) sister-in-law, who has the most loving heart and kindly nature. It's a nightmare.

  • How awful! Best of luck raising awareness to try and get your sister in law home. I don't know what the political answer to what going on in that part of the world, but I know is NOT what all our governments are doing!!!

    Lots of love


  • Yes, we just can't help making things worse. Why don't we learn.

  • I am so really sorry for you all. I cannot imagine the anguish that your family is going through. Will search straight away for any petition I can find. My thoughts are with you all and I wish a speedy resolution for everyone's sake.


    Here's a petition. Thanks for your concern. I can't tell you how much it means to me.

    And #HomaHoodfar exists on twitter.

  • Hi I have tried to sign the petition but it tells me my email address is in the wrong format. I haven't got a clue what this means anyone else had this?

  • sorry, no I don't know what that means. thanks for trying!

  • Signed. Hope it helps. May the nightmare for her and everyone in her situation be resolved rapidly and peacefully.

  • Thank you. I just saw an interview on the CBC with a woman who had survived a similar ordeal. She said that kicking up a fuss, getting international attention, was the way to go. She said the Iranian government doesn't like to be the focus of attention like that. So really, thanks!

  • signed with pleasure - good luck, Pauline x

  • Thanks, Pauline.

  • Thank you for posting. I am surprised there isn't a petition on Avaaz or similar. Seemingly very effective.

    I will go and look and lend support.

    Warm wishes to you and them.


    There it is! Thanks!

  • Oh, gosh, I am rubbish with names... Yes I have been supporting that... dreadful.

  • Thanks, Kevin. I do appreciate the support, and am glad you think avaaz is effective. I had never heard of it before last night.

  • They have had some stunning successes... Avaaz, the name, is Farsi (an Iranian Language, meaning Breath. I think they were possibly 'born' in Iran. Though probably US based now.

    They tend to hit very high numbers on some campaigns... let's hope this is one.

  • How worrying for all of you and harrowing for her. My thoughts and prayers are with Homa and all the family.


  • Thank you for your sympathetic response, NannaB. It means a great deal to me.

  • What a nightmare for you and the family, will check out the petition and pray that Homa returns home safely. Nanny857 xx

  • Thank you. The petition count is comforting, with names from around the world. I had no idea how much it would help. Prayers also gratefully accepted.

  • Thanks for sharing. I have not seen anything about this here but then news is so parochial. I will find the petition. Thinking of you both.

  • Signed - I hope it makes a difference and she can go home soon.

  • Thanks, Lieve. How are you doing? Have you returned stateside?

  • You're very welcome - I thought the US had a 'deal' with Iran - guess not such a good one! I've not returned yet - was planning to early January, so went for a lot of health checks on this wonderful health insurance we have here in Belgium (in case I had none for a while in the US) - and they found a tiny bit of breast cancer. I got the diagnosis in the middle of a very heavy bout of flue so I was like 'oh, cancer, right. Can't think of it now, feel too bad' lol. Had operation, three weeks of radiotherapy with five years of meds... so I'm good to go AGAIN, probably early August. Prepping everything here so everyone's comfortable but I doubt my mum will cope for much longer - we're taking turns doing nightshifts to help my dad with his balance when he wants to pee - I have discussed diapers with him because it's wearing us all out, and when I've left, not tenable. Slow deterioration, giving up things day after day, and if I think it's hard, I know it's so much harder on my dad - I know you know.

    Take good care and enjoy the good things too xx

  • Oh my goodness, Lieve. You've been through the mill. Good luck with your recovery, and with getting your father settled, although with this psp nothing stays settled, of course. Love, ec

  • EC, how horrendous for all of you. All I keep thinking is what did they do with the baby?

  • I believe the baby was left with the grandparents, but that young woman's story hasn't been updated in a few weeks, at least on the news sites I use.

  • Thanks, and I apologize for not expressing my heartfelt sympathy for your sister-in-law! A woman her age should be at home with her loved ones not in some slimey foreign detention center! Ads if you and your husband do not have enough on your plate. There is a US organization, I am having trouble recalling the name forgive me ( it is almost 1;30 am her and I am working on my second glass of wine trying to wind down and not real sharp), that deals with this kind of thing. You need political support. It is an election year and they thrive on this kind of thing. Hillary was Secretary of State. Show your guy all the signatures and online support it will make him feel better. I will check out FB tomorrow and sign any pertinent petitions. Feeling the wine.

    Goodnight and much love.


  • 4:30 am here, the sun is coming up! I hope you can get some sleep before it makes it way to your side of the continent! Thanks for the concern. Amnesty International is on the case, and our politicians have been appealed to, as Homa is, after all, the widow of an American vet.

    Love, ec

  • Oh dear, you really do have a lot to worry about. Will pray for your relative and look for the petition on Facebook, so I can sign it. Keep strong, hugs to you both. God bless. Rx

  • I appreciate the good wishes and hugs. Love, ec

  • Would like to sign but cannot find where, I am not on Facebook. Do you have a specific web address? I've googled both Homa Hoodfar and searched Avaaz without finding a petition, any help would be appreciated.

    Best wishes, Jerry.

  • Can you click on the link I attached to a couple of my earlier replies? I have trouble finding the petition myself going directly to avaaz. Thanks for your concern. Love, ec

  • Thanks, have done and hope you have some good news soon. Regards, Jerry.

  • hi eastern cedar, i too, find it despicable, glad you shared. love, alice

  • When I added my signature yesterday evening there were new signatures going on every couple of seconds, so hopefully it helps. Best wishes to you all. Love Sharon x

  • Thanks, Sharon. I have been so interested to see the names from all over the globe scroll by!

  • Good luck Easterncedar, our thoughts and prayers are with you. We will look out and sign any petitions.

    Much love xx

  • Really appreciate the good wishes. Thanks.

  • With you all the way _ will write to Amnesty International.

  • What a dreadful story. I will sign it now. I pray all ends well for her.

    love and support, Jean x

  • Hi Easterncedar, I have only just read your post and have now signed petition and shared on Facebook. hope she is released soon. As you can see I am partially weaned off the PSP site - but still checking in from time to time! Pat

  • Hi, pattz! How nice to hear from you, despite the circumstances. Thanks for signing and sharing the petition. How are you doing? Love, ec

  • Oh my! I signed the petition and shared with my Facebook friends. Keeping you all in my prayers.


  • Thank you for sharing it. Homa really is one of the world's natural heroes, although so seemingly shy and self-effacing her courage can surprise you. I love her dearly. In one of the last messages we had before she was taken, she apologized for not being as much help to me as she should. This after she spent two years taking care of her dying husband. He was a sociable man, and in the last year they had perhaps three nights without company for dinner, so he could be as happy as possible. And she always made us feel as welcome as sunshine. I want her back.

  • I am so sorry you are going through this I am neither Irish, Canadian or English so my contacting those governments wouldn't be helpful but I will pray for a positive outcome for her. You have so much on your plates already! Love to you both and to your dear Homa. Mary B.

  • Thanks, Mary. I appreciate the prayers, and if you could sign the petition, that would help, too. Ec

  • I signed the petition and urge all to do so. Unfortunately, I am not on Facebook, so couldn't sign there, but I found another source. Hope it helps. Love, Mary B.

  • I signed on AMNISTY INTERNATIONAL. It's very easy to do. Mary B

  • Wonderful! I really appreciate it. We feel so helpless.

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