The Australian couple, who are thrown in an Iranian prison and accused of being spies, break their silence and reveal how police blindfolded them and held them at gunpoint during the terrible arrest
- Mark Firkin and Jolie King spent almost three months in the Iranian prison
- A WA couple spoke about the ordeal one year since his release from prison
- The couple were arrested by police at gunpoint last June for illegally flying a drone
- Recently vowed to share more of the ordeal and plan to end the global adventure
An Australian and his British-Australian partner recalled how their adventure around the world turned into a terrible nightmare after being arrested at gunpoint and held in an Iranian prison for nearly three months.
Western Australia-based travel bloggers Mark Firkin and Jolie King were falsely accused of espionage after they were arrested for illegally flying a drone near Tehran last June.
They were placed in a cell and spent almost three months in the infamous Evin Prison before being released thanks to the support of the Australian authorities.
A year after their release, the couple broke silence over the dramatic moment when they were woken at midnight while blindfolded and police held guns to their heads.
It’s been a year since Ravel bloggers Jolie King and Mark Firkin (pictured) were released from Iran’s Evin Prison after a three-month ordeal
“They had no idea what we were trying to communicate with them and they just didn’t believe we were who we said we were,” Firkin told The West Australian.
Mr. Firkin and Ms. King have been charged with espionage, which carries the maximum penalty for death in Iran.
The couple claimed they had been denied access to Australian consular officers and said they were not entitled to lawyers.
They also remembered being taken to a judge, where their interrogators also acted as translators.
“At that point, the judge had given us another piece of paper stating that the espionage charges had been dropped, but we were charged with taking photos of a nuclear site, which was again an entirely fiction,” Ms said King.
Her partner, Mr. Firkin, added, “It took 10 years for espionage or death to three years for a nuclear site photograph.”
Mark Firkin and his partner Jolie King quit their jobs in mid-2017 to travel the world
The couple returned to Western Australia after being released from Evin Prison last October.
Secretary of State Marise Payne told reporters the couple were in good health and spirits at the time of their release, adding that all charges had been dropped.
Mr. Firkin and Ms. King are now working to reestablish themselves and pay their high legal bills.
On the one year anniversary of their arrest, they gave their 30,800 followers an update on their Instagram page, The Way Overland.
It was also the first post uploaded since she was arrested.
“A lot can happen in 12 months,” the post said.
Today, June 30th at midnight marks 12 months until the minute we were taken from our beds at gunpoint. ‘
Jolie King and Mark Firkin (pictured) are back home in Western Australia but plan to end their adventure around the world
The couple spoke for the first time about the ordeal of the anniversary of their arrest
The couple indicated that they would soon break their silence over their ordeal in Iran.
“We’ll have more information about what actually happened shortly. In the meantime, we’re fine and Troopy (their vehicle) has been relocated and is now patiently waiting in safe hands until we can be reunited and move on,” it said in the post continues.
‘Thanks for everyone who helped or sent messages or assistance; We hope everyone is safe and healthy wherever you are in the world. ‘
In mid-2017, Mr. Firkin and her jobs resigned to “travel to countries that had a bad reputation in the media”.
Mark Firkin and Jolie King (pictured) remembered being woken up by the police before they were blindfolded and guns held to their heads during the terrible arrest
The world tour expedition that they had documented online began in the suburb of Cottesloe in Perth and was to end in London.
The couple were on their way to Europe when they were arrested in Tehran.
Their families said at the time that the couple were unaware of Iran’s strict drone laws.
British-Australian university professor Kylie Moore-Gilbert remains in solitary confinement in one of Iran’s most notorious prisons after her arrest in 2018.
The Cambridge-trained academic spends up to 23 hours a day in isolation in Qarchak Prison in eastern Tehran, widely considered to be the most hideous prison in the country.