Kameel Ahmady, a British-Iranian anthropologist living in Tehran has been arrested, with no charges announced. (Social Media)

August 14, 2019

An Iranian-British anthropologist, Kameel Ahmady, was arrested at his home in the Iranian capital city Tehran on Sunday, August 11, his wife disclosed on Wednesday.

Speaking to Radio Farda, Ms. Shafagh Rahmani, said that her husband had not been officially charged but prosecutors based in Tehran’s infamous prison, Evin, said that Mr. Ahmady faces a series of charges related to his activities that are currently under investigation.

The prosecutors have refrained from telling Ms. Rahmani the nature of the charges her husband might face.

Kameel Ahmadi, born in the city of Mahabad, is a Tehran resident renowned for his research and studies on controversial issues, including child brides, and “mariage blanc” (from the French, literally meaning “white marriage”), or an unconsummated marriage.

“My husband was granted British citizenship 25 years ago but has been living in Iran in the past fifteen years,” Ms. Rahmani told Radio Farda.

Tensions soared between Iran and the UK after the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker at Gibraltar in early July. Iran has also been holding another British citizen on ambiguous charges since 2016.

Ahmady is also an internationally recognized expert on female circumcision.

Ahmady took global campaigners by surprise in June 2015 when he published a study suggesting tens of thousands of Iranian women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM.)

Before Ahmady’s disclosure, Iran was not recognized as a country affected by FGM – an ancient ritual which is internationally condemned as a serious rights violation.

But Ahmady’s research, based on 4,000 interviews, showed FGM is also performed in “secret pockets” of four Iranian provinces; West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah in the west and Hormozgan in the south, Reuters reported at the time.

Ahmady’s research work includes five books and three short ethnographic documentaries, made in various regions of the World and Iran.

The British government has not yet reacted to the arrest of the dual national.

RFE/RL

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.