Here we go again
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 there 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 was 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 representative for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Insider in a statement that it was “providing consular assistance” to King’s and Firkin’s families.
News of their arrest came to light Wednesday, with Manoto TV revealing the couple’s names later in the day. They have not yet had a trial, Zeraati added.
King and Firkin were in Iran as part of a long road trip from their home in Cottesloe, Western Australia, to London. The pair quit their jobs to travel the world.
King is detained in the same women’s ward of Evin Prison as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual citizen who has been detained in Iran since April 2016.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe is accused of spying on the government when she had in fact gone to visit family in the country. Her detention has become a defining issue in British-Iranian relations.