A BRIT academic detained in Iran has been moved to a hell-hole desert prison notorious for its cramped and brutal conditions.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert is now been transferred to Qarchak jail – believed to be the worst women’s prison on earth – where starved inmates are raped and have just 20cm of living space.
The Cambridge-educated academic – who also has Australian citizenship – was accused of spying after attending a conference in Tehran in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The Centre for Supporters of Human Rights said has been moved to Qarchak from Evin Prison, itself notorious for its conditions, as a punishment.
Qarchak prison is located in a barren desert east of Tehran and is infamous for its overcrowding.
Its seven sections include more than 2,000 prisoners where 200-300 prisoners are held in each section, al-Arabiya reports, citing a study by the Human Rights’ Activists News Agency.
There are not cells in prison but there is one hall that has 600 beds with the other 1400 prisoners– some of whom have children –sleeping on the floor.
The Human Rights’ Activists News Agency estimates that each prisoner has around 20 cm of living space.
Inmates are subjected to torture, rape and beatings as well as being placed in solitary confinement, resulting in severe psychological problems.
The report claims one form of punishment is to confine prisoners who complain about the conditions a confinement cell with another mentally disturbed prisoner.
There is also poor access to warm water and only four bathrooms for each part of the prison.
The facility is serviced its water by a nearby salt water lake and the amount of salt in the water has caused many female prisoners to have skin conditions.
Prisoners’ diet mainly consists of spaghetti, boiled potatoes and bread and as a result many suffer from severe vitamin deficiency.
When fights break out, guards don’t interfere which often results in death.
Dr Moore-Gilbert’s plight has been made public Reza Khandan, whose wife human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is imprisoned in Evin.
In a Facebook post, Mr Khandan said Dr Moore-Gilbert was moved for "punishment".
Letters smuggled out of prison and published in January revealed the lecturer's fears for her mental health.
"I'm taking psychiatric medications, but these 10 months that I have spent here have gravely damaged my mental health,” she said.
"I am still denied phone calls and visitations, and I am afraid that my mental and emotional state may further deteriorate if I remain in this extremely restrictive detention ward."
She also appeared to suggest she had been offered the chance to become a spy.
"I am not a spy. I have never been a spy and I have no interest to work for a spying organisation in any country," she wrote.
Dr Moore-Gilbert was most recently a lecturer in Islamic Studies at Melbourne University and previously published work on the 2011 Arab uprisings and on authoritarian governments.
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