Updated: Mar 13
Australian university lecturer Kylie Moore-Gilbert is finally on home soil following a two-year detention ordeal in Iran.
On Wednesday, November 25, 2020, the footage released by state broadcaster IRIB showed Moore-Gilbert, who had been imprisoned for more than two years, entering an unmarked van.
A Cambridge-educated Middle East scholar, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer at Melbourne University, had been detained in Iran since September 2018. She was tried in secret and vehemently denied all the charges against her. As we reported last month, she was transferred from the Qarchak women’s prison to the Evin prison in Tehran, where conditions are somewhat better.
The move came after two senior judiciary officials visited Qarchak and reportedly spent hours talking to prisoners about their conditions. The women’s prison, located outside Tehran, has been blacklisted under United Nations human rights sanctions. According to the IRIB, the 33-year-old Moore-Gilbert “was scouted by Israeli intelligence agencies who trained her for a mission in Iran.” Moore-Gilbert has reportedly denied the accusations against her. The Australian government has also rejected the allegations as baseless.
Moore-Gilbert’s release comes less than two months after French-Iranian academic Fariba Adelkhah, imprisoned in Iran since June 2019 on charges of conspiring against national security, was temporarily released from prison.
However, on November 24, 2020, Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali, who was given the death penalty three years ago for spying after being arrested in 2016, reportedly called his wife from prison to inform her that he could be executed soon.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide welcomes the news of Moore-Gilbert’s release with great relief. At the same time, we are stunned to learn that Iranian authorities have instructed the prison official to transfer Ahmadreza Djalali to solitary confinement and implement his death sentence.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide calls on Iranian government to halt the imminent execution of Professor Djalali and to urge the officials of the Iranian government to end the tactic of taking foreign nationals, dual citizen scholars and students hostage for political gains and to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights.