Iranwire – Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian researcher who was held hostage in Iran for two years, has published a video in Persian on the anniversary of her release to highlight the plight of those still being held unjustly in the Islamic Republic’s prisons.
In tweets accompanying the video, Dr. Moore-Gilbert explained that she had never studied Persian but learnt it during her time in Evin and Qarchak Prisons. “I was released from prison exactly one year ago,” she says in the clip. “This anniversary is full of emotion for me. I can’t believe my imprisonment was not a nightmare, but real.
“I thank God every day that I am here, in a place that’s calm and peaceful, and respects my human rights. But I’ll never forget that in many countries of the world, this peace and freedom don’t exist.
“The dear, kind people of Iran are still suffering. They are not free yet. The future of thousands of Iranian political prisoners is bleak. My dear friends [from] prison are never far from my thoughts. While they remain in prison, my heart and mind are there with them.”
In her anniversary video Dr. Moore-Gilbert named some of the female political prisoners left behind: among them conservationist Niloufar Bayani, labor activist Sepideh Gholian, academic Fariba Abdelkhah, dual-national charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and lawyers Nasrin Sotoudeh and Soheila Hijab. “How can I live a free life,” Dr. Moore-Gilbert asked, “when a part of my heart is still there?”.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert traveled to Iran in 2018 to attend a conference on the invitation of Al-Zahra University in Tehran and the University of Religions in Qom to attend a conference on Shiite Studies. After attending the event, she was detained by security forces at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport and sentenced to 10 years in prison on false espionage charges. She was finally released in December 2020 in exchange for three Iranian men imprisoned in Thailand over a bomb attack.