Saturday, August 1, 2020
Politics

Federal Government seeks access to jailed Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert moved to new prison in Iran

Federal Government seeks access to jailed Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert moved to new prison in Iran
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The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has said it is seeking access to jailed Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, after she was moved to a new prison in Iran.

Dr Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer at Melbourne University, has served two years at Tehran’s Evin prison,

She was convicted of spying and sentenced to 10 years’ jail.

Today, a DFAT spokesperson said Iran had confirmed she had been moved from Evin prison to Qarchak prison, east of the capital.

The spokesperson said it holds Iran responsible for Ms Moore-Gilbert’s “safety and well-being” and is “urgently seeking access” to her.

The statement confirms previous claims from Iranian activist, Reza Khandan, who wrote on a Facebook post that Dr Moore-Gilbert had been transferred to Qarchk prison two days ago as punishment.

He also claimed to have spoken to Dr Moore-Gilbert over the phone.

He said she told him she “can’t eat anything” and is “very depressed” and had last spoken to her family a month ago.

Mr Khandan said Qarchak prison only houses prisoners who are convicted of murder, drug trafficking and financial crimes.

The department said the ambassador to Iran recently visited Dr Moore-Gilbert in Evin prison, where she had telephone contact with her family and the Ambassador over the past several months.

‘I am not a spy’

Dr Moore-Gilbert is a Middle East expert at the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, specialising in the Arab Gulf states. She has also studied at Cambridge.

Earlier this year, in extracts of multiple handwritten letters smuggled out of prison — published by The Guardian and Times of London — she said she had never been a spy and feared for her mental health.

“I am not a spy. I have never been a spy and I have no interest to work for a spying organisation in any country. When I leave Iran, I want to be a free woman and live a free life, not under the shadow of extortion and threats,” one of the letters said.

Dr Moore-Gilbert also wrote to her “case manager” in the letter, “please accept this letter as an official and definitive rejection of your offer to me to work with the intelligence branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps”, the Guardian reported.



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