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Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert returned to Tehran's notorious Evin prison Open in fullscreen

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Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert returned to Tehran's notorious Evin prison

Kylie Moore-Gilbert is serving a 10-year prison sentence in Iran [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 October, 2020

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The Australian academic has been returned to the notorious Tehran prison facility after 'disappearing' in Iran's prison system.

An Australian academic who was moved out of one of Tehran’s most notorious prisons and taken to an undisclosed location has been moved back to the Evin prison.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert had been imprisoned at the Qarchak prison, where she had served two years of her 10-year sentence on espionage charges.

The Iranian Association of Human Rights Activists discovered that the University of Melbourne lecturer had been moved last week and stepped up campaign efforts lobbying for her release.

At the time, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said they were “seeking further information” on her location.

"Iranian authorities have advised our Ambassador in Tehran that Dr Moore-Gilbert has been moved to Evin Prison," a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.

"The Ambassador has requested that the regular access to Dr Moore-Gilbert continue at Evin prison."

A former colleague of Dr Moore-Gilbert celebrated the news that her location has been found, but said that efforts to have her released are “back to square one”.

"I have huge concerns that the government lost Kylie for six days despite claiming that the situation is under control and they are doing everything they can," Dara Conduit told SBS News.

"In Evin prison, the conditions are marginally better than Qarchak prison, but she spent nearly two years in that prison [Evin] in solitary confinement.

"Basically Kylie is back at square one. Australia's two years of quiet diplomacy and advocacy has amounted to literally nothing for Kylie."

Kylie Moore-Gilbert was a Melbourne University lecturer on Middle Eastern studies when she was arrested in Iran and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018.

She was moved in August to Qarchak Prison, east of Tehran, but the Iranian Association of Human Rights Activists reported she was moved to an unknown location on Saturday.

Iranian state media and officials have not acknowledged Moore-Gilbert was moved. She is among a number of Westerners and dual nationals held by Iran that activists and UN investigators believe is a systematic effort to leverage their imprisonments in negotiations with the West.

Moore-Gilbert has gone on hunger strikes and pleaded for the Australian government to do more to free her. Those pleas include writing to the prime minister that she had been subjected to "grievous violations" of her rights, including psychological torture and solitary confinement.

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