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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - The husband of a prisoner in Iran’s Evin jail has claimed that British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert has tried to commit suicide after being held on trumped up charges.
Reza Khandan, the husband of jailed Iranian rights campaigner Nasrin Sotoudeh, wrote on Facebook that Ms Moore-Gilbert’s situation had become unbearable after she was kept in solitary confinement.
Mr Khandan, also a rights activist who has spent time in jail, later told a charity supporting the families of the detained that the academic was “extremely troubled, angry and unhappy”.
“We don’t know the details about how she attempted suicide or how she is now, but we do know that she’s being held in horrible, unbearable conditions in the security ward and denied contact with other prisoners and prevented from being transferred to the general ward,” Mr Khandan told the US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
Ms Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Melbourne, was arrested in September 2018 as she sought to return from an education conference and was convicted of espionage.
She has previously written of how she felt “abandoned and forgotten” in letters from the prison, where she is serving a 10-year sentence.
“I think I am in the midst of a serious psychological problem, I can no longer stand the pressures of living in this extremely restrictive detention ward any more,” according to letters obtained by British media.
In a written appeal to Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, she said that she had been on five hunger strikes “as my only means to raise my voice” but to no avail.
CHRI called on the Australian and British governments to make greater efforts to secure her release to prevent her suffering further harm.
“Kylie’s cries for help are so loud and desperate that even the walls of one Iran’s most notorious prisons can’t silence them,” said CHRI executive director Hadi Ghaemi.
Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer, was among the few who defended dissenters arrested in the 2009 mass protests and has served numerous spells in prison. Her latest jail term started in 2018.
Updated: May 7, 2020 08:05 PM
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