The Arrest of Professor Dariush Farhoud
Dr. Dariush Farhoud (Screenshot: Twitter)

The Arrest of Professor Dariush Farhoud

El Watan, Egypt, November 1

Dariush Farhoud is an incredible man who left the comfort of his lab to defend the rights of his country’s women. The 85-year-old professor of medical and clinical genetics was abducted by Iran’s security forces after criticizing the regime’s plans to ban prenatal screening and legal abortions. Farhoud is a hero who refused to be intimidated by the mullahs who terrorize women in the streets of Iran and kill those who dare lift their veils from their hair. The news of his arrest shook the world. Farhoud is a world-class scholar. Whenever he attended a conference or an academic meeting, he was greeted with reverence and respect by his colleagues from across the globe. Farhoud was born in Tehran, then moved with his family to southern Iran. He spent his primary school in Khuzestan Province and after completing his secondary studies, he moved to Germany. He obtained two doctorate degrees in natural sciences and human genetics, and another in anthropology and psychology from the University of Mainz in the early 1970s and returned to obtain a master’s degree in genetics. He also received the Khwarizmi International Award, which is a research award given annually by the president of Iran. Farhoud often spoke about his choice to pursue such a unique combination of degrees. He described how his choice to study genetics was driven by an interest in how the field would change medicine. His choice of anthropology and psychology, meanwhile, was driven by a recognition that without incorporating ethics into medical research, the world would face serious problems. Farhoud chose to stand in defense of a women’s right over her body, especially as it pertains to abortions. He did so not only because it is the right stance from a medical viewpoint, but also – and perhaps most importantly – because it is the right stance from a moral and ethical viewpoint. Dariush Farhoud is one of the few people in Iran who can truly understand both viewpoints. –Khaled Montaser (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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