Letters smuggled out of Evin prison reveal that British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert is despairing at her isolation inside prison, believing she has been abandoned to her decade-long sentence. Since March 2020, Iran, one of the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, has temporarily released around 85,000 prisoners due to the fear of the novel coronavirus. Political prisoners and foreign academics such as Moore-Gilbert have been excluded from the furlough.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a University of Melbourne lecturer and researcher specializing in Middle East politics, has spent more than 600 days in prison. She was detained in August 2018 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and sentenced to 10 years for undisclosed reasons. She is currently b eing held in Ward 2A, an isolated Revolutionary Guard-run wing of Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.
Reports suggest that the Australian embassy in Tehran is maintaining some contact with Moore-Gilbert. Australia’s ambassador Lyndall Sachs last spoke to her on April 21, 2020. Moore-Gilbert was also able to speak with her father in March.