Iran releases Australian bloggers | News | DW | 05.10.2019
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Iran releases Australian bloggers

Two Australian travel bloggers have been released from detention in Iran after three months. All charges have been dropped, said Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne.

Australians Jolie King and Mark Firkin were released from detention in Iran and all charges against them have been dropped, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Saturday.

The couple, who were in the country as travel bloggers, had been held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison for almost three months after being arrested for taking photos of military facilities with a drone, Iranian officials claimed.

Before their arrest, they had been globe-trotting for two years and documenting their travels on Instagram and YouTube.

Foreign Minister Payne said the pair were on their way home and in "good health and in good spirits."

Payne said: "For Jolie and for Mark, the ordeal they have been through is now over, they are being reunited with their loved ones, which is a source of great relief and joy to everyone."

Read more: Free speech in Iran is still an 'uphill battle'

'Happy and relieved'

"We are extremely happy and relieved to be safely back in Australia with those we love," the couple said in a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Saturday. "While the past few months have been very difficult, we know it has also been tough for those back home who have been worried for us."

Efforts are still ongoing in pursuit of the release of Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert

Efforts are still ongoing in pursuit of the release of Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert

The couple asked for privacy and said intense media coverage "may not be helpful" in the negotiations for the release of a third Australian detained in Iran.

Efforts are still ongoing in pursuit of the release of Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in Iran after being charged with spying last year.

Foreign Minister Payne described the academic's situation as "very complex."

"We are continuing our discussions with the Iranian government, we don't accept the charges upon which she was convicted and we will seek to have her returned to Australia," Payne said.

sri,jsi/ng (dpa, AFP, AP)

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