Freed Aussie academic’s emotional statement
Kylie Moore-Gilbert has thanked her friends and supporters for helping her to survive her "never-ending, unrelenting nightmare" while locked up in Iran.
"I honestly do not know where to start or how I can ever thank you for all your incredible efforts to campaign for my release," the University of Melbourne academic said in a statement.
"I am totally blown away by everything you have done for me, I honestly have no words to express the depth of my gratitude and how touched I am."
"I can't tell you how heartening it was to hear that my friends and colleagues were speaking up and hadn't forgotten me, it gave me so much hope and strength to endure what had seemed like a never-ending, unrelenting nightmare. My freedom truly is your victory. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!"
The Free Kylie Moore-Gilbert group released a photo of a smiling Dr Moore-Gilbert that was taken at Doha airport soon after her release.
Dr Moore-Gilbert touched down at Canberra Airport last Friday on a chartered plane as part of the secret mission to bring her home.
The 33-year-old appeared in good health after spending more than two years locked up in Iran, most of which was in solitary confinement in unit 2a of Evil prison.
She was met by health officials and members of the Australian Defence Force in Canberra before being reunited with relieved relatives.
It was understood she would now complete two weeks' quarantine.
Dr Moore-Gilbert, a dual British-Australian national, was arrested in September 2018 after a colleague at a conference that she had been invited to at the University of Qom - which could have been a trap - alerted authorities.
She was picked up at the Tehran international airport as she was about to fly home, tried in secret, sentenced to 10 years' jail and had an appeal rejected last year.
In letters that were dated 2019 and leaked exclusively to News Corp Australia, Dr Moore-Gilbert revealed the depths of her desperation.
On August 23, 2019, she wrote to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps saying that she would not accept their offer to spy on Australian interests.
"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.
"When I leave Iran, I want to be a free woman and live a free life, not under the shadow of extortion and threats."
In December 2019, in a leak that also included a plea for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to get her out of jail, she wrote that she had been banned from contact with her family for nine months, except for one three-minute phone call with her father.
That call was only placed after she put her "own life at risk."
"I have undertaken five hunger strikes as my only means to raise my voice, but to no avail," she wrote.
Mr Morrison said after those reports that Australia was trying to be "discreet" in its efforts.
Dr Moore-Gilbert, who has a food intolerance, also wrote that she was unable to eat most of the meals provided to her and that her prison account did not have enough money in it.
There were concerns when she was moved in July from Evin prison to Qarchak prison, a notorious former chicken slaughterhouse converted into a women's jail known for its violence and overcrowding.
However, she was returned to Evin prison last month ahead of her release, but remained in solitary confinement.
Originally published as Freed Aussie academic's emotional statement