British-Australian scholar jailed in Iran for spying freed in prison swap
A British-Australian scholar who was serving a 10-year sentence for spying in Iran was freed in a prison swap.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert, 33, a professor at Melbourne University who taught Islamic studies, had been jailed in Iran since Sept. 2018.
Moore-Gilbert said she felt “bittersweet” leaving Iran despite the injustices she suffered.
“I have nothing but respect, love and admiration for the great nation of Iran and its warm-hearted, generous and brave people,” she said in a statement to the BBC. “I came to Iran as a friend and with friendly intentions, and depart Iran with those sentiments not only still intact, but strengthened.”
The Young Journalists Club (YJC), an Iranian state-backed news site, reported Moore-Gilbert was released in exchange for three Iranian men.
The men had been detained abroad for violating U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran, CNN reported.
Twitter user “@yjc___agency” posted a video of the exchange, showing a woman, appearing to be Moore-Gilbert, wearing a headscarf and being driven away in a van.
The three men — one in a wheelchair — were greeted by Iranian officials inside a building lobby, video shows.
Melbourne University Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell said Moore-Gilbert was safe and remained in good spirits.
“The University is grateful that Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert has now been released and will return to her family, friends and the broader University community,” Maskell said in a statement from Australia Thursday. Thank you to everyone involved in her successful release.”
Published at Thu, 26 Nov 2020 04:48:04 +0000