Tuesday 22 October 2019

British blogger Jolie King among three people arrested in Iran on spying charges

Jolie King and Mark Firkin have been arrested
Photo: Jolie King/Instagram
Jolie King and Mark Firkin have been arrested Photo: Jolie King/Instagram
Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been detained in Iran Photo credit: Handout/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Iran has acknowledged for the first time that it is holding three Australian nationals, including two with joint British nationality, on suspicion of spying.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili as saying the three had been charged in two separate cases.

He said two people, thought to be British-Australian blogger Jolie King and her boyfriend Mark Firkin, had been detained for using a drone to take pictures and video of military areas and other unauthorised zones.

He said the third, believed to be Cambridge-educated academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, faces charges of spying for another country.

POLITICS Iran .jpg
Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been detained in Iran Photo credit: Handout/PA Wire

Ms Moore-Gilbert, a Cambridge-educated academic who was most recently a lecturer in Islamic Studies at Melbourne University, has been in Tehran's notorious Evin prison for almost a year, having reportedly been given a 10-year sentence.

She has previously published work on the 2011 Arab uprisings and on authoritarian governments.

"'Humble' doesn't quite do Kylie justice. She was a thoughtful and passionate academic," University of Melbourne academic George Rennie said.

"This is a disgusting reflection on the Iranian dictatorship."

Australia said last week it was pressing Iran to free those held.

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