Political prisoners, including the University of Melbourne academic, have overwhelmingly been excluded from furloughing
Source: The Gurdian
Iran has temporarily freed 70,000 prisoners from jails around the country out of fear coronavirus could spread through prisons unchecked, but British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert has not been released.
Political prisoners have overwhelmingly been excluded from the furloughing of prisoners, with other dual nationals such as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Iranian-born British aid worker, remaining imprisoned despite growing concerns for their health.
“A number of dual and foreign nationals are at real risk. If they have not … got [coronavirus] they are really fearful of the conditions,” Javaid Rehman, the UN’s special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, said.
“This is also my worrying concern and therefore I have recommended to the state of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release all prisoners on temporary release.”
The Australian government spoke to a UN human rights committee session dedicated to the human rights situation in Iran, also calling on Iran to release all political prisoners.
But Australia’s representative did not mention Moore-Gilbert by name, in keeping with Australia’s espoused strategy of quiet diplomacy rather than public pressure on the Iranian regime.
Moore-Gilbert, a University of Melbourne professor, has been held in the Revolutionary Guards-run Ward 2A of Evin prison in Tehran for 18 months, having been sentenced in a secret trial to 10 years in prison for espionage, a charge she denies.