Iran says British-Australian academic freed for 3 Iranians

Iran says British-Australian academic freed for 3 Iranians
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Iran has freed Moore-Gilbert, who has been detained in Iran for more than two years, in exchange for three Iranians held abroad, state TV reported Wednesday. (AP)
Iran says British-Australian academic freed for 3 Iranians
2 / 2
Iran has freed Moore-Gilbert, who has been detained in Iran for more than two years, in exchange for three Iranians held abroad, state TV reported Wednesday. (AP)
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Updated 25 November 2020

Iran says British-Australian academic freed for 3 Iranians

Iran says British-Australian academic freed for 3 Iranians
  • It was not immediately clear when Moore-Gilbert would arrive back in Australia
  • Moore-Gilbert has gone on hunger strikes and pleaded for the Australian government to do more to free her

TEHRAN: Iran has freed Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a British-Australian academic who has been detained in Iran for more than two years, in exchange for three Iranians held abroad, state TV reported Wednesday.
The state TV report offered no further details Wednesday beyond saying that the three Iranians released in the swap had been detained for trying to bypass sanctions.
Moore-Gilbert was a Melbourne University lecturer on Middle Eastern studies when she was sent to Tehran’s Evin Prison in September 2018 and sentenced to 10 years. She is one of several Westerners held in Iran on internationally criticized espionage charges that their families and rights groups say are unfounded.
It was not immediately clear when Moore-Gilbert would arrive back in Australia. State TV aired video showing her with a gray hijab sitting at what appeared to be a greeting room at one of Tehran’s airports. She wore a blue face mask under her chin. The footage showed three men with Iranian flags over their shoulders — those freed in exchange for her being released. State TV earlier described them as “economic activists,” without elaborating.

Australia on Thursday welcomed the release of Moore-Gilbert.
"I am extremely pleased and relieved to advise that Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been released from detention in Iran and will soon be reunited with her family," Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.
"The Australian Government has consistently rejected the grounds on which the Iranian government arrested, detained and convicted Dr Moore-Gilbert. We continue to do so."
International pressure on Iran to secure her release has escalated in recent months following reports that her health was deteriorating during long stretches of solitary confinement and that she had been transferred to the notorious Qarchak Prison, east of Tehran.
Moore-Gilbert has gone on hunger strikes and pleaded for the Australian government to do more to free her. Those pleas included writing to the prime minister that she had been subjected to “grievous violations” of her rights, including psychological torture and solitary confinement.
Her detention has further strained relations between Iran and the West, which reached a fever pitch earlier this year following the American killing of a top Iranian general in Baghdad and retaliatory Iranian strikes on a US military base.


Egypt’s security services bust Muslim Brotherhood network in capital

A house in Downtown Cairo was being used as a center for Muslim Brotherhood activity, under the cover of SITA Studies Company. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
A house in Downtown Cairo was being used as a center for Muslim Brotherhood activity, under the cover of SITA Studies Company. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Updated 23 January 2021

Egypt’s security services bust Muslim Brotherhood network in capital

A house in Downtown Cairo was being used as a center for Muslim Brotherhood activity, under the cover of SITA Studies Company. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
  • National Security Sector monitored an apartment in the Bab Al-Luq area that was being used by a Muslim Brotherhood group
  • The network was led by a Turkish man

CAIRO: Egypt’s security services have announced the capture of a Muslim Brotherhood network in downtown Cairo.

The network was led by a Turkish man and prepared negative reports that contained “false and fabricated information about the political, economic, security and human rights situations in Egypt,” according to security forces. 

The information was aimed at tarnishing the country’s image inside and outside the country, with the reports sent to the group’s handlers in Turkey.

An official statement said the National Security Sector monitored an apartment in the Bab Al-Luq area that was being used by a Muslim Brotherhood group to prepare negative reports with Turkey’s support. The house was being used as a center for their activity, under the cover of SITA Studies Company.

The premises were raided and Helmy Moamen Mustafa Bilji, the Turkish financial director of the group, and three other members were arrested. Legal steps are being taken against them.