British blogger and her Australian fiancé were arrested in Iran & # 39; after flying an unlicensed drone near Tehran & # 39; – while the Minister of Foreign Affairs calls on ambassador for & # 39; serious concerns & # 39; to express
- Two women with joint British-Australian citizenship have been arrested separately in Iran
- One was a blogger who traveled through Asia with her Australian fiancé
- The couple are thought to have been arrested without a permit near Tehran
- Another woman is an academic who studied in Cambridge and gave a lecture in Australia
- Both are being held in the prison where Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is imprisoned
A British citizen and her Australian fiancée were arrested in Iran after attempting to fly a drone near the capital, Tehran, without a permit.
The two, both bloggers traveling across Asia to Europe and documenting their journey, were arrested in July and thrown into prison, local media reported.
The news of their arrest was announced on Tuesday, along with that of another British-Australian woman – an academic who studied in Cambridge – who has also been locked up.
It is thought that both women are currently being detained in Evin prison in Tehran, the same prison where British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained for espionage since 2016.
A British-Australian citizen blogger and her Australian boyfriend were detained in Iran in July amid reports that they were flying in a drone near Tehran without a permit. The woman is thought to be locked up in Nevin prison (photo)
Dominic Raab spoke with the Iranian ambassador on Wednesday and warned about & # 39; serious concerns & # 39; about detention and treatment of the two women
The blogger's family and her partner say their arrest is a misunderstanding and they did not know that flying a drone in Iran requires a permit.
A trial for the couple has not yet been held, UK-based news site in the Persian language Manoto reported.
The women are considered the first British passport holders without dual Iranian citizenship who have been imprisoned in the country for several years.
The arrests come in the midst of increased tensions between Iran and Great Britain.
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has called on the Iranian ambassador to London on Wednesday to express serious concerns about the number of dual national citizens detained by Iran and their detention conditions.
The blogger is thought to be detained in a neighborhood for female political prisoners.
She and her boyfriend were arrested about ten weeks ago when they were traveling in Iran on a trip they had blogged on social media.
The blogger has been detained in a neighborhood for female political prisoners where Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe (photo) is currently being detained
They started their journey in Australia about three years ago and followers of their accounts have expressed concerns about their recent silence.
The Iranian authorities are told the woman is being held in an attempt to orchestrate a prisoner exchange with Australia, according to The Times.
The newspaper also reported that the academic is in solitary confinement after being sentenced to ten years in prison for an unknown crime. The punishment is common for foreigners accused of espionage.
Tulip Siddiq, Labor MP from Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, told The Times: & # 39; This terrible news shows a clear escalation of Iran's hostage diplomacy.
Ratcliffe, pictured outside the Iranian embassy in London in June, said Iran must understand that & # 39; hostage diplomacy is not OK & # 39;
& # 39; Gentle diplomatic responses to the illegal and inhumane treatment of British prisoners by Iran have failed. & # 39;
Richard Ratcliffe, Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, told the newspaper: & I complained to the foreign secretary last week that we had seen an escalation from Iran in recent months, even since our hunger strike, to Nazanin in public hospitalized in chains and restricting her visits and phone calls, new major penalties announced for other innocent people, and more British citizens being taken, even non-Iranians. & # 39;
He said Iran must understand that & # 39; hostage diplomacy is not OK & # 39; and that the British government cannot sit quietly while ordinary people are seen as negotiating chips & # 39 ;.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment.
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