British-Australian academic moved out of infamous Iranian jail

British-Australian academic moved out of infamous Iranian jail
Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been moved from Iran’s notorious Qarchak prison, though details of her new whereabouts have not been released. (File/AP)
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Updated 25 October 2020

British-Australian academic moved out of infamous Iranian jail

British-Australian academic moved out of infamous Iranian jail
  • Human Rights Watch: Moore-Gilbert has “endured very difficult conditions including extreme isolation”
  • Her friends and family have been campaigning for her release since her arrest in Tehran

LONDON: A British-Australian academic has been moved from Iran’s notorious Qarchak prison, though details of her new whereabouts have not been released.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was educated at the universities of Cambridge and Melbourne, was arrested in September 2018 and convicted of spying in a secret trial.
She was given a 10-year sentence. Her friends and family have been campaigning for her release since her arrest in Tehran.
This latest development follows the prison authorities moving her and 15 other political prisoners to the Mother’s Ward in Qarchak prison last week. 
The prison has struggled to contain the coronavirus pandemic, with several inmates given temporary release earlier this year amid Iran’s beleaguered battle against the disease.
Moore-Gilbert, who was traveling on an Australian passport when she was arrested, spent the first 22 months of her imprisonment in Tehran’s Evin prison — which included long bouts of solitary confinement — before she was moved out of Tehran to Qarchak in the desert.
Qarchak is considered one of the most inhospitable women’s prisons in Iran, notorious for being a hive of extrajudicial killings, torture and human rights abuses.
Reports from Qarchak have revealed the extent of Moore-Gilbert’s plight, with smuggled letters and rare phone calls detailing how she has struggled with hopelessness, depression and poor nutrition.
Elaine Pearson, Australia director of Human Rights Watch, said Moore-Gilbert “has been detained for more than two years now, and she has endured very difficult conditions including extreme isolation. The Australian government should press forcefully and consistently for Kylie’s release and safe return to Australia.”