[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert has thanked friends and supporters for their incredible efforts campaigning for her release from an Iranian prison.
“I honestly have no words to express the depth of my gratitude and how touched I am” Moore-Gilbert said in a statement on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old arrived in Australia on Friday after spending more than 800 days detained in Iran.
“I can’t tell you how heartening it was to hear that my friends and colleagues were speaking up and hadn’t forgotten me”.
The Melbourne University lecturer in Islamic Studies was arrested in Tehran in September 2018, following an academic conference.
She was later handed a 10-year prison sentence in a secret trial on espionage charges. Moore-Gilbert has always denied the charges.
In the statement posted by her supporter group, the academic described the ordeal as a “never-ending, unrelenting nightmare”.
“My freedom truly is your victory. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!”
A photo of Moore-Gilbert was posted alongside the statement on Twitter, showing her as a free woman at Doha airport soon after her release.
Moore-Gilbert was reportedly released as part of a prisoner swap involving three Iranian prisoners being held in Thailand.
The Australian government has refused to confirm the reports by media in Iran and Thailand.
“In full consultation with her family, Dr Moore-Gilbert’s release was achieved through diplomatic engagement with the Iranian Government” Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne said earlier.
There had been two other prisoner exchanges with Iran this year. A German citizen released in February and a French citizen in March, each in exchange for one Iranian prisoner.(dpa)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]