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Ambassador Visited Jailed British-Australian Academic In Notorious Iran Prison

This undated handout photograph released by the family of Kylie Moore-Gilbert via Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs shows a portrait of academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert who specialises in Middle Eastern politics with a focus on Gulf states.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said Ambassador Lyndall Sachs had been allowed to visit jailed academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert at Tehran's notorious Qarchak prison on Sunday and found that she is well.

“Dr. Moore-Gilbert is well and has access to food, medical facilities and books,” the DFAT statement said. “We will continue to seek regular consular access to Dr. Moore-Gilbert”.

The Australian Embassy in Tehran has also issued a statement and said Dr. Moore-Gilbert is well and has access to "food, medical facilities and books".

In a tweet on July 29 Mehdi Keshtdar, the managing director of the Judiciary's Mizan News Agency had said that Dr. Gilbert-Moore was "in good health" and a judicial order had been issued to allow the Australian ambassador in Tehran to visit her.

Dr. Moore-Gilbert, one of the several foreign nationals and dual-citizens jailed in Iran on charges of spying, was recently transferred to the notorious Qarchak Prison in the south of the capital Tehran from Evin Prison.

Unlike Evin where a big number of inmates are political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are kept, Qarchak is primarily a prison for those who have committed serious crimes including drug-related offenses and murder.

In a brief phone call Dr. Moore-Gilbert informed prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh who is herself serving a 38-year term in Evin Prison for a series of ambiguous security charges of her transfer. In a Facebook post Sotoudeh said Dr. Moore- Gilbert was sent to Qarchak "as a punishment", apparently for not cooperating with interrogators and prison authorities.

Dr. Moore-Gilbert, is a lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Melbourne. She was in Iran to take part in a university program on Islam for foreign academics. During her stay she conducted some interviews and one of her academic colleagues on this program who she also interviewed flagged her as "suspicious" to the Revolutionary Guard leading to her arrest in early 2019.