Kylie Moore-Gilbert, researcher in Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, is being held in solitary confinement and sentenced to 10-years in prison, allegedly for espionage, which she has denied. While tens of thousands of prisoners have been released, due to threat of Covid-19, Moore-Gilbert is being retained. CCS has written the letter below to the Prime Minister of Australia as her case has received little attention from the Australian government.
May 8, 2020
The Honorary Scott Morrison
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
P.O. Box 6500
Canberra Act 2600 AUSTRALIA
Dear Prime Minister Morrison,
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars that has been working, since 1972, on the advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for our colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our grave concern about the lack of effort, on behalf of your government, to achieve the release of Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert of the University of Melbourne, who is falsely imprisoned in Iran.
Dr. Moore-Gilbert, an expert on Islamic studies, was arrested while on a research visit to Iran in September 2018. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Iranian Revolutionary Court on undisclosed charges that are believed to be related to her writings on revolutions and protest movements in the Middle East.
Since her arrest, Dr. Moore-Gilbert has been kept in solitary confinement at Evin prison under inhumane and unsanitary conditions. She, reportedly, attempted to commit suicide after losing hope of ever seeing her loved ones or returning to academic life.
This horrific story, of an aspiring young Australian academic, has caused a strong reaction from human rights organizations worldwide; but, apparently, has received insufficient attention from Australia.
Time is of the essence. We urge you to set up a task force to achieve Dr. Moore-Gilbert’s release, possibly her exchange for an Iranian prisoner held in a Western country.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists, Inc.