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Drop this in the should-have-seen-it-coming file. The Australian bloggers documenting their travels through Asia were arrested in Iran approximately 10 weeks ago. One of the primary reasons for traveling through Iran was to break what they considered to be an unfair media stigma against the Islamic republic.
Jolie King and Mark Firkin had been posting videos and pictures of their journey through Asia and the Middle East on their way to the United Kingdom for the last two years. Their popular Instagram accounts and YouTube channel show the happy couple meeting people and seeing popular places across the lands where their long adventure took them. But when it found its way to an area near Tehran, they allegedly flew a drone without permission, prompting the arrests and subsequent coverup.
News of their arrest was not released until last week even though suspicions have had the Australian and U.K. governments, where King has dual citizenship, asking about their whereabouts through official channels.
“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.
It seems they’ve learned the hard way Iran’s “bad rap” is well earned.
The situation comes amid growing tensions between the West and Iran.
Several dual nationals have been detained in Iran in recent years, including the British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
Relations between the UK and Iran have also been strained in recent months by a row over the seizure of oil tankers in the Gulf.
Australia also announced in July that it would join the US and the UK in policing the Strait of Hormuz against Iranian threats.
Hopefully the young couple aren’t experiencing harsh treatment as they sit in an Iranian prison awaiting their fate. This should dissuade others from trying to prove Iran isn’t as bad as the media paints them. In reality, they’re worse.
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