Iran Releases Two Travel Bloggers Jailed For Flying Drone Without Permission
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Iran Releases Two Travel Bloggers Jailed For Flying Drone Without Permission

Two Australian travel bloggers who were jailed in Iran this summer for flying a drone without a license have been released and are reportedly back in Australia. The Australian government isn’t saying whether the two were swapped for an Iranian prisoner in Australia, but the timing of their release would suggest that’s precisely what happened.Jolie King and Mark Firkin, both from Perth, Australia, quit their jobs in July of 2017 and set out to travel the world and document their adventures across 36 countries on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram under the name “The Way Overland.” They have not posted any new content since their release.King and Firkin were financing their trip through the crowdfunding tool Patreon but were arrested this summer in Tehran after using a camera-equipped drone near a military installation, according to the Iranian government. They were reportedly held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, a frequent site of torture and executions.The Guardian reports that the Australian nationals were released around the same time that a 38-year-old doctoral student at the University of Queensland and Iranian national named Reza Dehbashi Kivi had been released from detention in Australia. Kivi was accused of trying to export U.S.-made radar equipment to Iran, a violation of U.S. sanctions against the Iranian government.
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