The couple has been there for quite some time and news of their arrest is just being released now.
Jolie King and Mark Firkin, both Australian citizens, are travel bloggers with a large social media following. They set out to document their travels and hopefully inspire others to see some different places and learn about other cultures.
Their tour through the Middle East, however, went horribly wrong, and they’re getting to see a new side of Iran — the prison system.
Approximately 10 weeks ago, the couple was arrested near Tehran for allegedly flying a drone without a permit.
It wasn’t until Wednesday that the arrest of the couple along with that of another British-Australian woman was made public. In addition to being an Australian citizen, King also holds a UK passport.
Australia said it had repeatedly raised their cases with Tehran, including in a meeting between officials last week.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said she had lobbied on their behalf in a meeting with her Iranian counterpart.
She described the detentions as “a matter of deep concern” on Thursday, and confirmed that assistance had been offered to the families of the three detainees.
Although not much information has been released on the third detainee, it is known that the woman is a Cambridge-educated scholar who was lecturing at an Australian university. She has reportedly been convicted of unknown charges and already sentenced to jail for 10 years. In Iran, a decade-long prison term is routinely the punishment for spying.
It is not believed that the cases are related.
However, it is noteworthy that both women are British considering the rising British-Iranian tensions in the Strait of Hormuz regarding oil tankers and EU sanctions on Iran and Syria.
King and Firkin have been documenting their travels on social media for some time.
In 2017, the couple left Western Australia to embark on a major trip driving across Asia to the UK. They were documenting their adventures on Instagram and Youtube, where they had more than 20,000 followers.
Videos of their travel through a dozen countries featured their cultural interactions and often showed drone footage of the natural landscape.
“Our biggest motivation… is to hopefully inspire anyone wanting to travel, and also try to break the stigma around travelling to countries which get a bad wrap [sic] in the media,” the pair wrote online.
Source: BBC News
It’s horrible that any foreigner is imprisoned in Iran and especially for 10 weeks before the arrest was made public.
At least two of these people willingly traveled there and disregarded the risks as “bias.”
It just goes to show you that sometimes places that get a “bad rap” in the media may have actually earned it.
This isn’t the first time that this sort of thing has happened. Last year, several bicyclists with the same goal were traveling through Tajikistan — prime ISIS recruitment territory — and four of the seven were hacked to death.
You can dismiss the concept of evil as an oversimplification of reality, but that doesn’t mean that something evil won’t happen to you.