A 33-year-old British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert detained by Iran was released after more than two years in a prisoner swap. Australia’s Prime Minister said he is “thrilled and relieved” at the release of Gilbert, who was detained on charges of espionage.
Gilbert thanked Australia’s government for their efforts to secure her release and supporters who campaigned for her freedom.
She described the last two years and three months as a long and traumatic ordeal. "I have nothing but respect, love and admiration for the great nation of Iran and its warm-hearted, generous and brave people," Gilbert said, despite the injustice she had been subjected to.
Iran first made the announcement of Gilbert’s release on television, but the report was scant on detail. The report said Gilbert was being freed was in exchange for three Iranian businessmen held abroad for allegedly evading US sanctions imposed on Iran. The identities of those being freed weren't revealed.
On Gilbert’s release, Morrison told Australia’s Network Nine, “The tone of her voice was very uplifting, particularly given what she has been through.”
Despite denying charges of espionage, Gilbert was sent to Tehran’s Evin prison and sentenced to 10 years. UN has criticised of detaining Westerners on charges of espionage to leverage their imprisonment for money or influence in negotiations with the West.