3rd Australian citizen detained in Iran identified
Canberra, Sep 14 (IANS) The family of an Australian citizen who is being held in Iran, on Saturday confirmed her identity after several media outlets published her name. The family of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a researcher at the University of Melbourne, decided to release a statement following media reports naming her as one of three Australian citizens being detained in Tehran, reports Efe news.
“We have been and continue to be in close contact with the Australian government. Our family thanks the government and the University of Melbourne for their ongoing support at this distressing and sensitive time,” Moore-Gilbert’s family said in the statement.
“We believe that the best chance of securing Kylie’s safe return is through diplomatic channels.”
They added that they would not be making any further comment and requested that their privacy be respected at this time.
The names of the two other Australians jailed in Iran, travel blogger Jolie King and her boyfriend, Mark Firkin, had been confirmed by the government on Thursday. The couple had been travelling around the world since 2017 and kept a blog detailing their adventures online.
They were arrested in Tehran 10 weeks ago for allegedly flying a drone without authorization, according to Australian state broadcaster ABC. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a press conference on Thursday that government officials were making the necessary diplomatic contacts and following the case closely.
Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, meanwhile, said that Canberra had asked Tehran to free the three citizens and requested they be treated in a fair and humane manner. According to the British daily The Times, the three Australians are being held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.
The newspaper said they had been imprisoned in the same jail as British-Iranian humanitarian worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been detained since 2016 on espionage charges.
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