News Perth couple detained in Iran

Remigio Civitarese
Сентября 12, 2019

Jolie King and Mark Firkin packed up their Cottesloe home to escape the "nine to five corporate grind" in 2017 to embark on a road trip to London via Asia in a converted Toyota Landcruiser.

Two Australian travel influencers have been imprisoned in Iran, part-way through a long overland trip between Australia and Europe.

The pair has been held as prisoners for about 10 weeks after being arrested for reportedly flying a drone without a permit. (Supplied) A file photo of Erin Jail in Tehran where the Australian women are reportedly being held.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Thursday released a statement from the couple's families which said: "Our families hope to see Mark and Jolie safely home as soon as possible".

"We have no further comment to make at this stage and ask that the media respects our privacy at this hard time", they told AAP on Thursday.

Separately, another woman - said to be an academic at an Australian university - was detained a year ago.

The couple were reportedly arrested 10 weeks ago. Flying a drone in those areas is considered "highly suspicious", in Iran, Akbarzadeh said.

Ms King is a dual Australian-British citizen and the UK Government has demanded the couple's release.

People must not fly drones over people or large crowds, over the city of Tehran, or over sensitive areas.

Failure to obtain a permit before using one is punishable by six months in jail, followed by immediate deportation.

"So we will continue to pursue these matters in the interest of the Australians who are at the centre of these cases and we will do that carefully and we'll do that in close consultation through our officials who have been part of this process now".

Following news of their imprisonment becoming public on Thursday, followers quickly left messages of support in the comments on their page.

"I note that in at least one of these cases it's the view being expressed by family members".

News of the arrests came after Australia announced it would join a US-led mission to protect shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, with tensions high in the Gulf region.

The department's travel advice is now set to "reconsider your need to travel" and the highest warning level of "do not travel" applies in some parts of the country.

The advice states Australians may be at greater risk if they have a profile that can be seen adversely by Iran, or undertake activities which could attract the attention of its authorities.

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