British-Australian scholar moved to Iran’s Qarchak prison amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Jailed British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been moved to Iran’s Qarchak prison, known as the most dangerous and worst prison in the country, amid a reported coronavirus outbreak in the prison, according to the Guardian on Tuesday.

Read also: Inside Qarchak Prison, ‘Iran’s most dangerous for women’, human rights report issued

Concerns have been raised after reports that coronavirus has been detected in the prison, with sources telling the British newspaper “social distancing is impossible, and access to soap is often limited.”

Independent sources inside Iran confirmed to the Guardian that the academic had been moved to the prison controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“Isolated and overcrowded, Qarchak has a reputation as one of the most hostile prisons in the country,” reported the publication.

“I can’t eat anything. I feel so very hopeless,” Moore-Gilbert is quoted by the Guardian as telling Reza Khandan, husband of jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, in a phone call. “I am so depressed. I don’t have any phone card to call. I’ve asked the prison officers, but they didn’t give me a phone card. I [was last able to] call my parents about one month ago.”

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In June, the United States Department of State reportedly listed the prison as an entity responsible for “extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

The Middle East scholar is serving a 10-year sentence on espionage charges in the Islamic Republic and was being held in Evin prison, another notorious institution.

Moore-Gilbert’s arrest was confirmed in September 2019 but her family said she was detained months before that date, according to AFP.


Read more:

Inside Qarchak Prison: ‘Iran’s most dangerous for women’, human rights report issued

Iran sentences young Christian woman to 10 lashes, three months in prison

UK-Australian jailed in Iran in good health ‘considering her situation’, says family

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