Among the thousands of inmates held in the belly of Iran's notorious Evin prison is an Australian named Kylie Moore-Gilbert.
The 33-year-old Melbourne University academic has been held there for more than 21 months, having been convicted of espionage in a farcical secret trial that critics argue was politically motivated.
Dr Moore-Gilbert had been conducting research in Gulf politics in the country, with a focus on revolutions, protest movements and activism.
Now, according to a report in The Times, Dr Moore-Gilbert has been staging some activism of her own.
Listen to Mamamia's daily news podcast, The Quicky, below. Post continues after podcast.
The UK newspaper claims the joint British-Australian citizen has been physically punished by Evin guards, after she was found to have formed a protest choir and support network within the Tehran prison.
A source told The Times she coordinated inmates to sing and hum together from their cells and while working in the kitchen, in a display of collective defiance. She also reportedly communicated with new prisoners, warning them about who is trustworthy and supporting them through threats of rape and death made by prison guards.
One such message was reportedly intercepted by staff, resulting in her being beaten.
"She was seen being treated for wounds on her hands and arms. Since then, it is believed that the prison’s governor has sanctioned drugging her to keep her 'compliant'," The Times reported.
"A source said she had been seen incoherent and weak, to the point that she appeared 'comatose' at times. She had severe bruising all down her body."