The jailing of Kylie Moore-Gilbert in Iran

From her cell inside Ward 2-A of Evin Prison, on the northern outskirts of Tehran, Kylie Moore-Gilbert wrote a letter last September to her Iranian prosecutor asking for a message to be delivered to the Australian embassy. “I am entirely alone in Iran,” she wrote. “I have no friends or family here and in addition to all the pain I have endured here, I feel like I am abandoned and forgotten.”

Two months later, after learning that she had received a 10-year prison sentence on charges of espionage, Dr Moore-Gilbert, a 33-year-old academic who specialises in the politics of the Gulf states, wrote again to the prosecutor to request that, at least, she be transferred to a “normal ward” for prisoners whose verdicts had been delivered.

“I have suffered 14 months in this temporary detention centre without any justifications, and my tolerance for such a game is really low at the moment,” she wrote. “… Mr Vaziri, you told me you would help me. I unfortunately need your help again now.”

These letters from Moore-Gilbert were among 10 obtained and published earlier this year by the Center for Human Rights in Iran. They make for a harrowing read, a chronicle of the academic’s deteriorating mental and physical health and her desperate appeals for help to secure food, medication, books, visits and phone calls.

Read the article by Jonathan Pearlman in The Saturday Paper.