Kylie Moore-Gilbert: British academic held in Iran moved to notorious desert jail as 'punishment'

Letters smuggled out of prison and published in January revealed the lecturer's fears for her mental health.

A British-Australian academic who has been detained in Iran has been moved to a desert prison notorious for its poor conditions, a group of activists said.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Cambridge-educated academic who was most recently a lecturer in Islamic Studies at Melbourne University, had previously been held in Tehran's Evin prison, having reportedly been given a 10-year sentence.

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She has previously published work on the 2011 Arab uprisings and on authoritarian governments.

Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert (pictured) was arrested while at an educational conference in September 2018 and later convicted of espionag

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The Centre for Supporters of Human Rights said Ms Moore-Gilbert has been moved to Qarchak prison, citing information from Reza Khandan whose wife human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is imprisoned in Evin.

In a Facebook post, Mr Khandan said Dr Moore-Gilbert was moved for "punishment".

Letters smuggled out of prison and published in January revealed the lecturer's fears for her mental health.

She said: "I'm taking psychiatric medications, but these 10 months that I have spent here have gravely damaged my mental health.

"I am still denied phone calls and visitations, and I am afraid that my mental and emotional state may further deteriorate if I remain in this extremely restrictive detention ward."

She also appeared to suggest she had been offered the chance to become a spy.

"I am not a spy. I have never been a spy and I have no interest to work for a spying organisation in any country," she wrote.

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