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.”
If true, this report that Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been transferred to Qarchak prison is devastating.@azadeh_davachi describes Evin prison as 'a castle compared to Qarchak' and Qarchak as 'Iran's worst prison for women.'— Dara Conduit (@daraconduit) July 27, 2020
Where is the Australian government on this? pic.twitter.com/ZWra4rQGDy
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.”
In blow to hopes for Kylie Moore-Gilbert —British-Australian academic jailed in Iran - she has reportedly been moved to Qarchak jail — notorious prison in remote desert region - known to be used as punishment for Iranian political prisoners pic.twitter.com/oYleUHehoW— sebastian usher (@sebusher) July 28, 2020
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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.