An Australian couple on an epic journey from Australia to the UK have been detained in Iran for using a drone without a permit.
The couple, travel vloggers, documenting and sharing their journey details as ‘thewayoverland’ were arrested near Tehran, and are currently detained in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. They have been identified as Ms. Jolie King and Mr. Mark Firkin. Mr. Firkin is an Australian national and Ms. King is a dual national (Australia and British).
Leaving Perth in July 2017 in a Toyota LandCruiser, the couple were planning to travel for two years driving across 36 countries. They had traversed through Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, and then entered Nepal from Kakadbhitta. They had spent an estimated month in Nepal, trekking the famous Everest region, a few relaxing days in Kathmandu, before they went back to India via Sunauli. After exploring India, a short stopover at Pakistan, then China, Kyrgyzstan, they had made their way to Iran via Turkmenistan.
In Iran, near Tehran, they were detained when using a drone to to capture footage for their videos – when asked to show papers they were unable to, therefore detained and await a trial. The pair has been held as prisoners for about 10 weeks and are housed in Evin prison – a jail which primarily houses Iran’s political prisoners.
The Australian government is working towards their release, and their families have said they hope to see Mark and Jolie home safely as soon as possible.
“We have no further comment to make at this stage and ask that the media respects our privacy at this difficult time”, they added.
Mr. Firkin and Ms. King, travel enthusiasts, embarked upon this epic road trip in 2017. They both quit their jobs in 2016 and planned their 2 year long travel.”We hope to inspire others to pursue their dreams and perhaps wander down the road less travelled!”, they have said in their Patreon profile.