For the most part, the world is much safer than we think. People are generally good, and time and again our worries about international travel are proven to be unfounded. Yet every once and a while something does go wrong, and it’s important for us to acknowledge that risk. That’s why today we’re sharing the story of Jolie King and Mark Firkin of The Way Overland. The Australian couple is currently traveling from Australia to London and has been documenting their overland journey through photography and videos on various social media channels. Since their departure, they have crossed through Indonesia, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, India, and Pakistan, before crossing into Iran earlier this summer. Around the end of June, their regular posts ceased, and the couple’s friends, family, and followers began to raise the alarm.
Eventually, Pouria Zeraati of the Persian-language media outlet Manoto News confirmed that Jolie and Mark had been arrested for unknown causes, and so far, have been detained for over 10 weeks in Tehran’s Evin prison. This detainment facility has come under scrutiny from foreign officials many times in the past for the mysterious disappearances of prisoners, harsh living conditions, and accusations of torture. Amnesty International described how prisoners were treated with an “appalling level of brutality.”
Although Iran has not confirmed the reason for the couple’s arrest, it is rumored that the two were detained for flying a drone without a proper permit, and the Australian government is currently negotiating for their release.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jolie, Mark, and their family in this difficult time.