Letter of Appeal on Behalf of Kylie Moore-Gilbert Sentenced to Ten Years in Iran Prison

Letters smuggled out of Evin prison reveal that Iran tried to recruit the British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert as a spy for Tehran in exchange for her release, but the overture was furiously rebuffed.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a University of Melbourne lecturer and researcher specializing in Middle East politics, has been detained by the Islamic Republic of Iran since August 2018 and was sentenced to 10 years for undisclosed reasons. She is currently being held in Ward 2A, an isolated Revolutionary Guard-run wing of Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

According to the Guardian Newspaper, in a series of handwritten letters to Iranian authorities, Moore-Gilbert declares that her detention is nothing but a political hostage taking. In the letter she reveals that in October 2019, she was even shown two alternative decisions to her appeal: one for a 13-month sentence (essentially “time-served,” which would have seen her released) and another confirming the original sentence of 10 years.

“How is it possible that two very different appeal decisions were delivered to ‘2A’ detention centre? It is clear that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Intelligence is playing an awful game with me. I am an innocent victim,” Moore-Gilbert said.

In a letter to her “case manager,” Moore-Gilbert writes, “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.… Under no circumstances will I be persuaded to change my decision.”

“I am not a spy. I have never been a spy and I have no interest to work for a spying organization 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.”

In a letter dated August 26, Moore-Gilbert begs the prison bosses to move her from the isolated 2A section of Evin prison to the general female section, as demanded by Iranian law following her sentencing and the rejection of her appeal.

“I have been in 2A for almost a year and especially after my verdict, my health has deteriorated significantly. In the past month I have been to the special care at Baghiatallah Hospital twice and the prison infirmary six times.”

“I think I am in the midst of a serious psychological problem, I can no longer stand the pressures of living in this extremely restrictive detention ward anymore. My situation here is even more difficult due to the ban on having any phone calls with my family. I worry a lot about their reactions to my verdict, but I cannot talk to them. This is really inhumane.”