Iran detained an Australian couple who were crossing the country on a road trip from Australia to London, and had been documenting their travels on Instagram and YouTube.
Jolie King and Mark Firkin were arrested in July near Tehran. According to the Persian-language channel Manoto TV, they were detained on charges of flying a drone with no license.
They have been detained in the high-security Evin Prison in Tehran, Manoto TV said.
The couple, who have more than 40,000 followers across Instagram and YouTube, said they wanted to “break the stigma” around traveling to countries with bad reputations.
Iran has detained many foreigners in the past, who often become leverage in its geopolitical struggles with the West.
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Iran has detained two travel influencers who were traveling the country, and said they were documenting their trip on social media as a way to “break the stigma” around countries with scary reputations.
Jolie King and her boyfriend Mark Firkin are being held in Tehran’s high-security Evin Prison, according to Pouria Zeraati, the editor-in-chief of the Persian-language channel Manoto TV.
Zeraati said they had been their since their arrest in July on charges of flying a drone without a license.
Firkin is an Australian national, while King is a British-Australian dual citizen. Officials in Australia confirmed that the couple is being detained.
They were arrested by security forces in Jajrood, an area to Tehran’s east, Manoto TV reported Wednesday.
“According to an informed source, this arrest had no political element, but was for flying the drone,” Manoto TV said Wednesday.
A spokesperson for Australia’s Foreign Affairs and Trade department told Insider in a statement that it is “providing consular assistance” to King’s and Firkin’s families.
News of their arrest came to light on Wednesday, with Manoto TV revealing the couple’s names later in the day. They have …read more
Source:: Business Insider