Kylie Moore-Gilbert.—AFP
Kylie Moore-Gilbert.—AFP

SYDNEY: One of three Australians recently revealed to be detained in Iran was identified by her family on Saturday as a Melbourne University lecturer.

Academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who specialises in Middle Eastern politics with a focus on Gulf states, has been held for a “number of months” in Iran on charges that remain unclear.

“Our family thanks the government and the University of Melbourne for their ongoing support at this distressing and sensitive time,” a statement released by Australia’s foreign affairs department on behalf of the family said.

“We believe that the best chance of securing Kylie’s safe return is through diplomatic channels.” Canberra first confirmed last week that three of its citizens had been seized by authorities in Tehran.

Perth-based travel-blogging couple Jolie King and Mark Firkin, who has been documenting their journey from home to Britain on social media, were revealed as two of those arrested.

Moore-Gilbert is the last of the three to be named. Her arrest is unrelated to that of the couple, whose charges also remain unclear.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne last week said Moore-Gilbert has been held for “a number of months”, while King and Firkin for “a number of weeks”.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2019