The Australian Middle East academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert who was imprisoned in the Islamic Republic for two years on trumped-up charges that she was an Israeli spy resisted her captors along with other female and male prisoners inside the 2A facility of Evin prison, a source familiar with political prisoners in Evin prison told The Jerusalem Post.
According the source, Moore-Gilbert was part of a group of prisoners who decided to collectively begin resisting the Revolutionary Guards, which included conservationist Niloufar Bayani, academic Fariba Adelkhah and another prisoner known by the pseudonym ‘Lolita.’ Some of the men in the men’s unit joined these efforts, for example in participating in coordinated group hunger strikes.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) sexually harassed and tortured the environmentalist Niloufar Bayani in order to provoke a false confession, according to letters written by Bayani. BBC’s Persian Service reported on the methods of torture
imposed on Bayani. Adelkhah is reported to have suffered permanent damage to some internal organs as a result of prolonged hunger strikes, and has been released from prison in favor of house arrest with an electronic ankle monitor.
Moore-Gilbert spoke about her opposition to the IRGC in her interview with Sky News Australia, which included climbing up on the roof of the prison. According to the source from within Iran, this was just one act of resistance of many, and Moore-Gilbert wasn’t alone in pursuing a campaign of resistance during the time she spent in the 2A facility from 2018-2020.
On Tuesday, Moore-Gilbert appeared on a SkyNews exclusive television interview. She discussed the psychological and physical torture she faced during the 804 days she spent incarcerated inside Iran’s Evin and Qarchak prisons.
After attending an academic conference in Qum, the IRGC arrested her in September 2018 shortly before she planned to depart Tehran.
The United States government has sanctioned the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.
Moore-Gilbert said she persevered because she found strength through anger at her illegal imprisonment. She told Sky News that the solitary confinement room “is designed to break you” and “It’s psychological torture. You go completely insane. It is so damaging.”
She added that “I would say I felt physical pain from the psychological trauma I had in that room. It is a two-by-two meter box – there is no toilet, there is no television.
I felt if I have to endure another day of this – you know if I could I would just kill myself. But of course I never tried and
I never took that step.”
The “Kangaroo trial,” according to Moore-Gilbert, sentenced her to 10 years imprisonment on espionage charges for work on behalf of Israel’s government. The secret trial afforded her no semblance of basic due process.
Iran’s opaque judiciary conducted the 2019 sham trial only in Persian.
Moore-Gilbert was eventually transferred from being along in a tiny cell for seven months in Evin prison “to sleeping in a room with 100 women.”
“There is nothing like solitary confinement. That is just hell…It was a positive experience because I wasn’t alone anymore,” she said about the transfer to the public prison.
Moore-Gilbert said she called her now ex-Israeli husband, Ruslan Hodorov,” quite a bit in the beginning during her interrogation.”
She continued that “Due to his behavior on the phone calls and his general behavior after my arrest, he was seen as suspicious and they did not want me to call him, so I didn’t, based on what the Revolutionary Guards wanted and what I wanted.”
Moore-Gilbert added that “They wanted me to lure him to Iran so get that they could arrest him and get their hands on an extremely high value hostage. Can you imagine if the Revolutionary Guards got their hands on an Israeli. The price that could be demanded for that. It would be a PR coup. It is unimaginable. He would never have come. They were dreaming to think that my husband would be so stupid as to travel to Iran.”
The Revolutionary Guards told her to they if she called Hodorov to get him to travel to Iran so Guards could interview him, “they would let both of us go.”
Hodorov had an extramarital affair while Moore-Gilbert was imprisoned and did not call her to say he was happy when she was freed.
Moore-Gilbert, who is a lecturer In Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, has written about the 2011 Arab revolts and “authoritarian governance and the role of new media technologies in political activism.”
She plans to write a book about her captivity in Iran’s prisons.
Source » jpost