AUSTRALIA CONFIRMS RELEASE OF MELBOURNE ACADEMIC FROM IRAN PRISON
Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been freed from prison in Iran, Australia's foreign minister confirmed, without giving details of the terms of the Australian-British academic's release, Farshid Motahari and Annika Burgess reported for the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Moore-Gilbert, a Melbourne University lecturer in Islamic Studies, was arrested in Tehran in September 2018 following an academic conference. She was later handed a 10-year prison sentence in a secret trial on espionage charges. Both Moore-Gilbert and the Australian government denied the charges.
The academic released a statement acknowledging the "injustices" she faced and thanked those who campaigned for her freedom throughout the "long and traumatic ordeal."
"I have nothing but respect, love and admiration for the great nation of Iran and its warm-hearted, generous and brave people. It is with bittersweet feelings that I depart your country, despite the injustices which I have been subjected to," Moore-Gilbert said. "I came to Iran as a friend and with friendly intentions, and depart Iran with those sentiments not only still intact, but strengthened." Iranian state television channel IRIB reported that Moore-Gilbert was freed in exchange for the release of three Iranian prisoners.