Latest news

Four Women Resisting Oppression

August 16, 2020 IN WIP
Share this

Take Action For Them 


U.N. World Humanitarian Day, Wednesday 19th August

The plight of Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert has gained the attention of the world. Her unlawful and arbitrary detention is just one example of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s breach of obligations under international human rights laws, a situation made more acute in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many other women are under threat too including Bahareh Hedayat, Nasrin Sotoudeh who began a hunger strike on 11th August, and Narges Mohammadi who may have contracted coronavirus with underlying health conditions. They face life-or-death consequences.


UN experts, The Center for Human Rights in Iran, Amnesty International and PEN International have all called for the immediate release of these women before it is too late.

We urge you to email our Government and Opposition leaders to continue to press for the release of Kylie Moore-Gilbert and to raise concerns and advocate for the safety and immediate release of these courageous Iranian human rights advocates, Nasrin Sotoudeh, Narges Mohammadi and Bahareh Hedayat.

Below is a form letter you may wish to copy or adapt:

UN World Humanitarian Day: Unconditional Release of Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Nasrin Sotoudeh and Narges Mohammadi from the prisons of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

RE:  Australian Governments ongoing actions for the immediate release of Australian academic Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert and your advocacy for the safety and immediate release of Iranian human rights advocates,  Nasrin Sotoudeh and Narges Mohammadi.

Dear  [insert name].

Today on World Humanitarian Day I write to you to express my concern for the safety of these three women, Australian, Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert and Iranian Nasrin Sotoudeh and Narges Mohammadi.

Each of these women have their own complex circumstances of imprisonment by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I write to you today because I am deeply concerned about their ongoing imprisonment and their precarious health and safety.

The Australian Government is well aware of the situation of Moore-Gilbert. I am aware that your representative in Tehran visited her at the notorious Qarchak Prison on August 2.

I urge you to continue your efforts.

However, I also write to urge your actions equally on behalf of these two Iranian women human rights advocates, Nasrin Sotoudeh and Narges Mohammadi. This request is in view of the Australian Government’s commitment to humanitarian concerns as a signatory to UN Conventions on Human Rights.

One of the key strategic priorities of the 2020 World Humanitarian Day is to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and decrease morbidity and mortality.

As you will be aware the growth of the COVID-19 pandemic led the Government of Iran to release on furlough over 85,000 prisoners. The law stated that those who had been sentenced up to five years in prison and served a third of their term were pardoned. This was significant action by the Government of Iran. However, this did not include political prisoners.

In this context, I urge the Australian Government to advocate for both Sotoudeh and Mohammadi.

Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested in June 2018 for defending women prosecuted for appearing in public without a headscarf, or hijab.  She began a hunger strike on August 11, 2020 with a letter explaining her reasons. In her own words:

“In the midst of the coronavirus crisis engulfing Iran and the world, the situation facing political prisoners has become so difficult that their continued incarceration under these tyrannical conditions has become impossible.”…

“From the very start of the judicial process all the way through to sentencing, many suspects are denied independent legal representation or prevented from unrestrained consultation with their lawyers…

Given the lack of any response to communications and requests for the freedom of political prisoners, I am starting a hunger strike.”

Sotoudeh was also a key advocate in alerting the situation of Gilbert-Moore as a fellow prisoner in Evin Prison.

Narges Mohammadi has been committed to the care, protection and rights of political prisoners over many years and now finds herself in an increasingly precarious situation for her health and safety in prison.  Mohammadi has been imprisoned since May 2015 as part of a 16-year sentence.  She had been at Evin Prison and then in December 2019, was transferred to Zanjan Prison. It is recognised that her transfer to this second prison was carried out as further punishment for the peaceful protests she organised, whilst in Evin Prison, including against the apparent abuse by prison guards against other inmates.

Mohammadi suffers from a neurological disorder that can result in seizures, temporary partial paralysis, and a pulmonary embolism.  Whilst she has received some medical treatment, other medical attention has been seriously lacking.

It seems Mohammadi was given a COVID test but that the results have not been disclosed. There is serious concern that she may have contracted COVID-19 in Zanjan prison.

I write to you to raise your concerns and utilise all your efforts and capacities for the immediate and unconditional release of the three women, political prisoners in the Islamic Republic of Iran –   Australian Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, Iranians Nasrin Sotoudeh and Narges Mohammadi.


I welcome your urgent reply and action.


With kind regards,

[insert name]

Write to 


The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia
Parliament House
Send an email

Senator The Hon. M. Payne
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women,
PO Box 1420
Parramatta NSW 2150
Send an email

The Hon. Anthony Albanese MP

334a Marrickville Road
Sydney NSW 2204

Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs
PO Box 6237
Halifax Street
Send an email 


The Hon. Adam Bandt MP

GF1, 296 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065


The Australian Ambassador to Iran
Ms Lyndall Sachs
Australian Embassy
No. 11, Yekta Street, Bahar Street, Shahid Fallahi Street,
Valie Asr Avenue
Tehran 1973633651
Republic of Iran


Also, To write to  Ms Kylie Moore-Gilbert:

Tehran, Shahr-e Ray, Gharchak, Nedamatgah-e Shahr-e Ray

Please also include this address in Farsi. You may want to print it out and paste it on the address section of the postcard.

Please remember to align the text to the right-hand side of the page:


Subscribe for news & updates from PEN Melbourne.

People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.

— John Ralston Saul on the work of PEN International