Mon, 21 Oct 2019

A British-Australian woman who is reported to be serving a 10-year prison term in Iran has been identified as Kylie Moore-Gilbert.

The academic's family revealed her name in a statement issued through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on September 14.

In the statement, the family said they were in close contact with the Australian government, adding 'the best chance of securing Kylie's safe return is through diplomatic channels.'

British and Australian media have reported that Moore-Gilbert has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by Iranian authorities although the charges were unclear.

Moore-Gilbert was working as a lecturer specializing in Middle East politics for Melbourne University's Asia Institute before she was jailed in October 2018.

Moore-Gilbert is one of three Australian citizens detained in Iran. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on September 12 that the government had been working on securing their release for more than a week.

On September 10, the Australian Foreign Ministry identified two of the detainees as Australian Mark Firkin and British-Australian Jolie King.

King, a travel blogger, and her fiance Firkin were arrested near a military site in Jajrood near Tehran on August 9, reports said earlier this week.

Britain's The Times newspaper has reported that all three are being held in the Evin prison, where political prisoners are usually held.

t is the same prison where a British-Iranian aid worker, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been jailed since 2016 on spying charges, The Times said.

Tehran has detained several Iranian and dual-national academics in recent years, sparking fears Iran is using them as diplomatic leverage.

The detentions have come amid a standoff between Western powers and Iran after the United States withdrew from a deal that imposed curbs on Iran's nuclear program and then imposed sanctions on it, aiming to halt its oil exports.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

Sign up for The Iran News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!