Kylie Moore-Gilbert

Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert came to global attention following her release in November 2020 from two years of imprisonment by the Iranian regime.

Moore-Gilbert is a scholar of Middle East history and politics. In September 2018, she was arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in Tehran’s airport on her way home to Australia after taking part in an academic conference.  After months of interrogation, she was ultimately convicted of espionage in a shadowy trial presided over by the country’s most notorious judge, and received a ten year prison sentence.

Held for a year in solitary confinement, Moore-Gilbert was pushed to her limits by extreme physical and psychological deprivation. Her only lifeline was the covert friendships she made with other inmates inside Tehran’s Evin prison, whom she communicated with through air conditioning vents and by hiding secret letters in an outdoor exercise yard. On 25 November 2020, after more than two years of imprisonment, she was finally released in a high-stakes three-nation prisoner-swap deal, laying bare the complex game of global politics in which she had become a valuable pawn.

Since her release, Moore-Gilbert has continued to raise awareness about Iran’s practice of “hostage diplomacy” and draw attention to the fate of other foreign nationals arbitrarily arrested for purposes of diplomatic leverage, as well as the horrors endured by victims of the Iranian regime.  She authored the book The Uncaged Sky: My 804 Days in an Iranian Prison to share her story with the world.

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