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Family of jailed Australian academic deny attempted suicide and torture claims

“She has strongly denied reports that she has attempted suicide or that she is being tortured,” the family said.

“She seems to be in good health considering her situation. We love her and miss her. We ask that you continue to respect both Kylie’s and our privacy while we concentrate on getting her home.”

Dr Moore-Gilbert was arrested in September 2018 while at an educational conference in Iran. She was later convicted of espionage.

In letters smuggled out of prison, Dr Moore-Gilbert said Iran tried to recruit her as a spy in exchange for her release, an offer she appears to have rejected.

She is serving a 10-year sentence but has described being shown two conflicting sentences: one outlining 13 months’ imprisonment and the other a decade-long term.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said Dr Moore-Gilbert’s case was one of its highest priorities, including for embassy officials in Tehran.

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The spokesman said Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne had repeatedly raised the case with her Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in face-to-face meetings and in correspondence.

“We do not accept the charges upon which Dr Moore-Gilbert was convicted and continue all efforts to have her returned to Australia as soon as possible,” the DFAT spokesman said.

“While we continue to work to secure her release, we are doing everything we can to ensure the conditions of her imprisonment are the best they can be.

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“We continue to believe that the best way to secure a successful outcome is through diplomatic channels and not through the media. We have consular visits and telephone calls with Kylie. She has had telephone contact with her family in May. Dr Moore-Gilbert’s family has asked that the media respect their privacy.”

The family’s comments come after an Iranian court has sentenced another prominent researcher with dual citizenship to prison on security charges.

French-Iranian Fariba Adelkhah was sentenced to five years for “gathering and collusion” against the country’s security and one year for “spreading propaganda” against the Islamic system, according to her lawyer Saeed Dehghan.

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