Travel bloggers identified as two of the Australians detained in Iran

Two of the Australians detained in Iran’s capital have been identified as travel bloggers Mark Firkin and Jolie King.

The Perth couple were identified after their families released a statement saying they hoped to see the couple as soon as possible.

“Our families hope to see Mark and Jolie safely home 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,” the statement said.

The two Australians being detained in Iran have been identified as Jolie King and Mark Firkin. Source: Instagram

Firkin and King are two of the three Australians who are being detained in Iran’s capital Tehran.

The couple were reportedly arrested about 10 weeks ago, according to The Times.

Firkin and King, who were travelling throughout Asia, were reportedly arrested about 10 weeks ago for flying a drone without a licence.

Their travels are documented on various forms of social media under the name, The Way Overland.

The couple have more than 21,000 followers on YouTube, where they document their travels.

Their last YouTube video was uploaded on June 26. Their last Instagram post was on the same day, promoting the YouTube video, and their last social media activity was in Pakistan.

The couple left on their journey in June 2017. Source: Instagram - The Way Overland.

According to their Patreon account, the couple have been travelling since 2017, “escaping from the daily 9 - 5 corporate grind”.

“We left Perth in July 2017 and will travel overland from Australia to the UK documenting our experiences through videos and photos,” they said.

“We hope to inspire others to pursue their dreams and perhaps wander down the road less travelled.”

They are being held in the notorious Evin prison in the capital of Tehran, with consular assistance being provided to their families.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to the families of three Australians detained in Iran,” a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trades spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

“Due to our privacy obligations, we will not comment further.”

Australia's official travel advice for Iran is currently set to "reconsider your need to travel".

The highest warning level – "do not travel" – applies in some parts of the country.

There is a risk that foreigners, including Australians, could be arbitrarily detained or arrested.

The advice states Australians may be at greater risk if they have a profile that can be seen adversely by Iran, or undertake activities which could attract the attention of its authorities.

Another British-Australian woman being held in Iran, an academic who had been lecturing at an Australian university, has reportedly been given a 10-year sentence.

While the charges against her remain unclear, 10-year terms are routinely given in Iran for spying charges, the Times reported.

The notorious Evin prison is where Iran holds its political prisoners and has a reputation for being the scene of various human rights abuses, including summary executions.

Deakin University professor of Middle East politics Shahram Akbarzadeh told AAP on Thursday the Perth couple was “naive” if they flew a drone capturing video footage for their travel blogs and would be suspected of acting against the regime.

"Iran authorities see a threat in every corner," Professor Akbarzadeh said.

"What might seem like a very benign and very ordinary thing to do - using a drone for photography because you can get really nice shots - can turn into something very sinister in Iran."

Prof Akbarzadeh said the couple may be detained indefinitely without being put before the judiciary.

Authorities scouring the footage may conclude it is innocent, but others view Australia as an enemy given it is part of a US-led international coalition to stop Iran exporting oil.

"Dealing with Iran is so arbitrary and unpredictable," Prof Akbarzadeh said.

"It is a helpless scenario, unfortunately.

"Let's hope there's nothing suspicious on those videos."

Iran responded well to "the human face" so the best thing for the pair's families to do could be appealing directly through Iran's embassy in Canberra or even going to Iran.

But there was a risk they too could be considered suspicious and detained.

The couple's most recent video was uploaded two months ago and concerns were raised when they failed to add new posts.

– With AAP

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