Home / World / Iran Releases Kylie Moore-Gilbert, British-Australian Academic, in Exchange for 3 Prisoners
Iran releases Kylie Moore-Gilbert, British-Australian academic, in exchange for 3 prisoners

Iran Releases Kylie Moore-Gilbert, British-Australian Academic, in Exchange for 3 Prisoners

TEHRAN – Iran on Wednesday released Australian Professor of Melbourne University, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, in a prisoner swap for three Iranians, according to sources.
Moore-Gilbert, 33, one of the country’s foremost Western prisoners, has been jailed for more than two years on charges of espionage.
In a statement, she congratulated the Iranian people and thanked those who had worked for her release.
“I have nothing but respect, love and admiration for the great nation of Iran and its warm, generous and courageous people,” Moore-Gilbert said, according to The Guardian.
“It is with a bittersweet feeling that I leave your country, despite the injustices, I have experienced.”
“I came to Iran as a friend and with friendly intentions, and I left Iran with these feelings not only still intact, but reinforced,” she continued.
A University of Melbourne’s professor in Middle Eastern studies, Moore-Gilbert was picked up from Tehran airport and arrested as she tried to leave the country after attending a university conference in 2018. She was found guilty in a secret trial and sentenced to 10 years in prison for crimes she said she never committed.
“I am an innocent woman,” she wrote to prison authorities last year, the news agency reported.
“[And] were jailed for a crime I did not commit and for which there is no real evidence.”
“I am not a spy. I have never been a spy and have no interest in working for a spy 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,” she continued.
The Iranians being set free in exchange for Moore-Gilbert have been described by Iranian state television as “economic activists” who had been jailed for trying to circumvent sanctions against the country, although the report gave no details. They wore Iranian flags draped over their shoulders and outfits apparently designed to hide their identities.
Footage showed Moore-Gilbert in a gray hijab sitting in an exposed reception hall at Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran before being later seen aboard in an Australian-flagged plane, according to reports.
She was one of many Western women detained in Iran on widely criticized espionage charges that activists and UN investigators see as a systematic effort to profit from their imprisonment for money or influence in negotiations with the West, which Iran denies.
Moore-Gilbert wrote in letters to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that she had been jailed “for extorting” the Australian government.
Morrison this week said he was “delighted and relieved” that Moore-Gilbert was returning home after spending 804 days in custody. Without going into details, the prime minister told Australia’s nine network that nothing has been done to undermine the safety of Australians and no prisoners have been released in his country.
Australian Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, called his release a “top priority” for the government and wished him good luck on his return to Australia. The comment came after Moore-Gilbert went on several hunger strikes while incarcerated and advocated for the Australian government to do more to release her while in detention.
Moore-Gilbert, who was transferred in July to Qarchak Prison, an isolated prison known to hold the country’s political prisoners, wrote that she had been subjected to “psychological torture and spent long periods in solitary confinement”.
“There is no doubt that she will have the same strength and determination that has helped her through her period of detention,” Payne said.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

Check Also

Greece, Turkey Launch Mediterranean Crisis Talks After 5 Years

Greece, Turkey Launch Mediterranean Crisis Talks After 5 Years

ATHENS, Greece – Greece and Turkey on Monday started exploratory talks in Istanbul – after …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *