Kylie Moore-Gilbert, the British-Australian academic detained by Iran for more than two years on espionage charges, has been freed in an apparent prisoner exchange for three Iranians.
Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer on Middle Eastern studies at the University of Melbourne, had been detained in Iran since 2018. The 33-year-old was found guilty of espionage last year and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In a statement, she thanked the Australian government and others who had campaigned for her freedom, describing the past two years and three months as “a long and traumatic ordeal.”
She said her departure from Iran was “bittersweet”, despite the injustice she had been subjected to.
“I have nothing but respect, love and admiration for the great nation of Iran and its warm-hearted, generous and brave people,” she said in a statement released via the Australian government.
“I came to Iran as a friend and with friendly intentions, and depart Iran with those sentiments not only still intact, but strengthened.”
Iranian state-backed news agency the Young Journalists Club (YJC) reported that her release was part of a prisoner exchange for three Iranian businessmen held abroad for allegedly evading US sanctions imposed by Iran. The agency did not reveal the identity of those released.