Prior to Kylie Moore Gilbert’s imprisonment in Iran, she was an artist, scholar, and “notable” rising star.

Australian and British scholars Kylie Moore Gilbert don’t like sitting still.

After returning to the University of Melbourne as a lecturer after earning a PhD in 2017, one of the first things on her to-do list was to get a standing desk in her new office.

“I didn’t like the idea of ​​sitting all day because she felt stagnant,” said Dr. Moore Gilbert’s friend and colleague Chris *.

For more than two years, the rising star of Middle Eastern studies was forced to remain very stationary: trapped in a 2 x 3 meter cell in an Iranian prison, often trapped in a cell, and spying for 10 years. I was sentenced to prison.

Australian scholar Kylie Moore Gilbert has been imprisoned in Iran for over two years.


“I don’t want to know what she’s doing to anyone,” said Jesse Moritz, a Middle Eastern scholar and friend of Dr. Moore Gilbert.

“It’s a really scary deadline to show that she’s been there for more than two years. It’s an unacceptable deadline.”

Dr. Moore Gilbert was arrested at Tehran Airport on September 13, 2018 for attempting to leave the country after attending a meeting in Iran’s city of Com.

A fellow attendee allegedly reported her as “suspicious.”

She then spent almost two years in Evin Prison in Tehran before being transferred to the infamous Kalchak Prison, commonly referred to as the worst women’s prison in the world, in July.

Many experts said that when Iranian authorities decided to engage in so-called “hostage diplomacy,” her only offense was that she was an Australian citizen in the wrong place, and her accusations and duration were arbitrary. Say it is a target.

The Australian Government has so far refused to provide up-to-date information on its efforts to release Dr. Moore Gilbert, other than asserting that she will not accept the convicted charges.

Meanwhile, friends and colleagues say that her interest in welfare is growing day by day.

“Very diligent”

Growing up in Bathurst, a provincial city about 200 kilometers northwest of Sydney, Dr. Moore Gilbert is a highly educated high school student and award-winning. Dux After breaking through the state with HSC Visual arts..

She described the award-winning work, entitled “Self-Portrait 2005,” as “a search for mechanisms used to maintain order in an individual’s inner conflict and turmoil, and in the outer turmoil.”

Dr. Moore Gilbert's HSC visual arts project

Dr. Moore Gilbert’s HSC visual arts project “Self-Portrait 2005” has surpassed the state.

New South Wales State Museum

After graduating from high school, she completed her undergraduate program at the famous University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. There, he met Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and later elaborated on it in a local Bathurst newspaper. He then returned to Australia to earn a PhD from the University of Melbourne. ..

As a lecturer in Islamic studies at the Asian Institute at the University of Melbourne, she specialized in politics, authoritarianism and protests in the Arab Gulf countries. Bahrain in particular is a small island nation adjacent to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

A friend told SBS News that she is a determined, intelligent, “very hard-working” young scholar on an upward career track.

“It really makes me aware of how much work I’m not doing,” her friend Chris told SBS News.

“She doesn’t judge you, but you think,’She’s behind me and she’s working hard, so I really should do the same.'” “

Dr. Moritz said Dr. Moore Gilbert was “incredibly bright, [but] It’s also incredibly humble. ”

“There are a lot of ego in academia, but Kylie isn’t one of them. She’s really happy to be around,” she told SBS News.

Her hard-working personality also influenced students who took her classes at the University of Melbourne.

Former student Sarah McGovern said the final year of a Middle Eastern political course under Dr. Moore Gilbert was a rare class in which everyone attended a weekly reading tutorial.

“Because you knew that the class discussions were really scrutinized, lively and engaging. I can’t accept generalization or inadequate opinion,” she said.

“Kylie was expecting the students, so you had to be sharp as a stud.”

However, Ms. McGavan also remembered that her former tutor was friendly and easy to talk to.

“She was an incredible juxtaposition of intelligence and understanding of her problems, topics and disciplines, and was very laid-back and fascinating.”

She was also passionate about experiencing the world and events she was studying, beyond theoretical research, a former colleague said.

But when she traveled to Iran in 2018, no one expected what would happen.

“It’s always like it’s in your head, but in her case it seemed to be fairly low risk,” said Chris, also a scholar.

“Especially online, I’ve seen criticisms about why you go when you know you’re at risk. And the obvious reaction is that unless scholars go to find something like this, they won’t know what’s going on.

“Even if you’re doing a friendly college course, you wouldn’t expect to be put in jail when you’re leaving the country.”

“Stubbornness and strength”

Roya Boromand, secretary-general of the Abdullah Man Boromand Human Rights Center in Iran, said Dr. Moore Gilbert’s arrest “fits the pattern” of arresting and hostage innocent aliens. ..

“There is no doubt that we would have been tried on television if there was a piece of evidence about something wrong with Kylie,” she said.

“If they didn’t do that, if she was charged in a closed room … that means nothing.”

Dr. Moritz, who specializes in Middle Eastern politics, also believes that the arrest of her friend has nothing to do with her work.

“I don’t really think she was targeted for her research. I think she was targeted for citizenship,” she said.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne declined to comment on Dr. Gilbert Moore’s situation on the story.

In one of her recent statements about the incident, Ms. Payne said her efforts to bring her home were uninterrupted.

“”[We] I want to see her return to Australia as soon as possible, “Pain said in September.

Dr. Moore Gilbert’s family also refused to speak to the media. Celebrating the second anniversary of her arrest, they issued a brief statement explaining her “strength and strength.”

“We love Kylie very much and remain strong,” they said.

“For those who know and love Kylie, they will recognize her strength and strength. We know that this strength remains with her during this trial.”

But at this point, there are no signs of when the trials will end.

The sudden move to Kalchak prison shows that 1,200 to 2,000 prisoners are crowded and some are infected with COVID-19, but relations with Iranian authorities are deteriorating. ..

Kalchak prison on the outskirts of Iran. It currently houses Dr. Gilbert Moore, an Australian scholar.

Kalchak prison on the outskirts of Iran. It currently houses Dr. Gilbert Moore, an Australian scholar.

Google map

“It’s punishable, there’s no doubt,” Boromand said.

“The whole world now knows Karchak because Kylie has moved there. It’s not a wise move, they must be angry with her.”

Last month in Iran Abdullah Man Boromand Human Rights Center Published a report on the impact of COVID-19 on Iranian prisonsIt revealed the dire situation within Qarchak, including sewage flooding, non-drinkable “salt” water, poor quality food delivered in small quantities, and wards that turned into quarantine facilities.

In ten letters smuggled from Evin Prison, Dr. Moore Gilbert was able to get a glimpse of her life, including deterioration of her mental and physical health, bans on visits and telephone calls.

“I’m completely alone in Iran. I don’t have any friends or family here. In addition to all the pain I’ve endured here, I feel like I’m abandoned and forgotten,” she said. It states in a letter dated September 18, 2019. Human Rights Center in Iran..

In another letter dated June 20, 2019, she states that she received only one 4-minute phone call with her family in three months.

Ms. Payne previously stated that the government had promised to secure Dr. Moore Gilbert’s release through diplomatic channels, but many of her friends are asking for more.

“Iran could release her tomorrow if they wanted … she doesn’t have to provide the full text given arbitrarily,” Dr. Moritz said.

“And that means it’s up to the Australian Government to negotiate to get her out, and if they succeed, she can come home tomorrow or next week.”

Meanwhile, they wait for the good news.

“I was able to see her progress from her PhD to actually starting herself,” Chris said.

“I don’t know where this will lead now, but there’s no doubt that someone on a truly remarkable path will follow in its footsteps.”

* Renamed to protect ID.

Prior to Kylie Moore Gilbert’s imprisonment in Iran, she was an artist, scholar, and “notable” rising star.

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