Australian-British Political Scientist Released from Iranian Prison
December 3, 2020
On November 25, 2020, Kylie Moore-Gilbert—an Australian-British political scientist—was released from Evin Prison as part of a prisoner exchange.
Dr. Moore-Gilbert had been imprisoned in Iran since September 2018, when she was arrested while attending an academic conference in the country. She had reportedly been serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted of national security-related charges in secret proceedings.
Dr. Moore-Gilbert, a dual Australian-British citizen, earned her undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Cambridge University and her doctoral degree in political science from the University of Melbourne. Her research and writings have centered on politics in the Gulf region with a focus on the 2011 Arab uprisings, authoritarian governance, and Shi’a political activism in Bahrain. At the time of her arrest, Dr. Moore-Gilbert was a Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute.
Dr. Moore-Gilbert reportedly was arrested by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at the airport after checking in for her flight back home to Australia. It is our understanding that she was subsequently charged with national security-related crimes. In late 2019—before a Revolutionary Court where proceedings frequently fail to meet international fair trial standards—Dr. Moore-Gilbert was convicted and given a decade-long prison sentence. Her conviction is believed to have been upheld on appeal shortly thereafter. No credible evidence was ever disclosed to support the charges brought against her.