28 July 2020 12:36
An Australian university lecturer serving a 10-year sentence for espionage in Iran has been transferred to a notorious remote prison in the desert, the Australian government has confirmed. Cambridge-educated Kylie Moore-Gilbert had been held in Evin Prison in the capital, Tehran, for nearly two years but she was suddenly moved about three days ago to Qarchak women's prison. Melbourne University academic Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert is being held in Iran. Qarchak is in the desert east of Tehran. There have been reports of coronavirus cases in the prison.
A BRIT academic detained in Iran has been moved to a hell-hole desert prison notorious for its cramped and brutal conditions. Kylie Moore-Gilbert is now been transferred to Qarchak jail – believed to be the worst women's prison on earth – where starved inmates are raped and have just 20cm of living space. 5 Kylie Moore-Gilbert is serving a 10-year sentence for spying Credit: University of Melbourne 5 Qarchak jail is notorious for its brutality and cramped conditions Credit: Google 5 Prisoners are subjected to rape and torture, human rights activists say Credit: Google The Cambridge-educated academic – who also has Australian citizenship - was accused of spying after attending a conference in Tehran in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The Centre for Supporters of Human Rights said has been moved to Qarchak from Evin Prison, itself notorious for its conditions, as a punishment. Qarchak prison is located in a barren desert east of Tehran and is infamous for its overcrowding.
In a Facebook post, Mr Khandan said Dr Moore-Gilbert was moved for "punishment". Letters smuggled out of prison and published in January revealed the lecturer's fears for her mental health. "I'm taking psychiatric medications, but these 10 months that I have spent here have gravely damaged my mental health," she said. Most read in News COSTA DEL WOE Spain quarantine U-turn sparked by 10 Brits testing positive on their return Latest 'BE VIGILANT' Europe on verge of Covid second wave, PM says as he defends Spain quarantine Exclusive WRONG MOVE Meghan and Harry told to 'stop whining... You're more likely to die on BIKE than from Covid so get back to work, says IDS TAKE THE PLUNGE Average two-bed London flat hides incredible secret in basement KICKED IN THE BALEARICS Brits told NOT to travel to Majorca, Ibiza & Canaries in Gov U-turn Dr Moore-Gilbert was most recently a lecturer in Islamic Studies at Melbourne University and previously published work on the 2011 Arab uprisings and on authoritarian governments.
News of her transfer was announced by Reza Khandan, a campaigner and husband of jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. In a phone call with Mr Khandan from prison, Dr Moore-Gilbert said: "I can't eat anything... A report into conditions at Qarachak prison, published in March by Iranian human rights activists, found there was a lack a medical and dental care, widespread drug use and instances of rape and other abuses among prisoners. Iran temporarily released more than 100,000 prisoners due to concern over the spread of Covid-19. Dr Moore-Gilbert was arrested in September 2018 after attending an academic conference at which she was due to speak. Her imprisonment was revealed a year later by the Australian government. Marise Payne, Australia's foreign minister, said she had been in contact with Tehran several times regarding the imprisonment of Dr Moore-Gilbert, along with two other prisoners. Dr Moore-Gilbert has been silent since January, when a series of letters written between July and December 2019 were smuggled out of Evin prison, where she was previously held. She also claimed Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a military body who deal with intelligence, had offered her work as a spy, an offer she denied. A British-Australian academic who is serving a ten-year prison sentence in Iran on espionage charges is believed to have been moved to a notorious desert prison with harsh conditions. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Melbourne, had been held in Tehran's Evin prison since September 2018 when she was detained at Tehran airport after attending a conference. Dr Moore-Gilbert has now been moved suddenly to Qarchak women's prison, southeast of Tehran, which is believed to be used as punishment for Iranian political prisoners. Last month the US state department listed the prison as an entity responsible for "extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violations Melbourne University lecturer Kylie Moore-Gilbert, jailed in Iran for spying, has been moved to the harsh Qarchak prison in the desert. The dual UK-Australian national has been in Tehran's Evin Prison since September 2018. Reza Khandan, the husband of lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh who is in Evin prison for her human rights activism, has posted on Facebook that Dr Moore-Gilbert was transferred in recent days to Qarchak women's prison for "punishment reasons". Mr Khandan said Dr Moore-Gilbert was able to contact him to say the conditions at Qarchak were very bad. "I cannot eat anything, I am very disappointed, I am so very depressed," he reported her saying. Camera Icon Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert. Camera Icon The dual UK-Australian national has been in Tehran's Evin Prison since September, 2018. Dr Moore-Gilbert told Mr Khandan she had last spoken to her family about a month ago. Qarchak is in the desert east of Tehran and is reportedly rife with coronavirus, is very overcrowded, has poor sanitation and not enough beds for all inmates. The jail holds political prisoners as well as those who have committed violent crimes. In May, Dr Moore-Gilbert's family issued a statement saying she was in "good health and she had "strongly denied reports that she has attempted suicide or that she is being tortured". JAILED AUSTRALIAN KYLIE MOORE-GILBERT CLAIMS IRAN WANTED HER TO BE A SPY MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY ACADEMIC KYLIE MOORE-GILBERT FACES SECOND CHRISTMAS IN IRAN JAIL OVER 'SPYING' CONVICTION The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is aware of Dr Moore-Gilbert's move to Qarchak Prison and is urgently seeking further consular access to her at this new location. "Dr Moore-Gilbert's case is one of our highest priorities, including for our embassy officials in Tehran," a DFAT spokeswoman said in a statement on Tuesday. "Our Ambassador to Iran recently visited Dr Moore-Gilbert in Evin Prison, and she has had telephone contact with her family and the Ambassador over the last several months. "We hold Iran responsible for Dr Moore-Gilbert's safety and well-being." Camera Icon A University of Melbourne lecturer who studied Middle Eastern politics has been named as the third Australian detained in an Iranian jail. Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been detained in Iran for a year, according to Manoto TV, a London-based Persian language television station. Dr Moore-Gilbert, who lectured in Islamic studies at the University of Melbourne, was arrested in September 2018 while at an educational conference and was later convicted of espionage.