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Two British-Australian women arrested, detained in Iran prison

The Advertiser 2019-09-11 07:13:00

An Australian man and two female British-Australian nationals have reportedly been detained in a notorious prison in Iran.

The UK Times revealed the women — a blogger travelling through Asia with her Australian boyfriend and an academic lecturing at a university in Australia — had been seized in separate incidents.

They have been incarcerated in Evin prison in the Iranian capital of Tehran, The Times said.

The blogger was arrested 10 weeks ago on charges which remain unclear while the other woman, who had studied at Cambridge University in England, was given a 10-year sentence.

While the charges against her also remain unclear, 10-year terms are routinely given in Iran for spying charges, the British national newspaper reports.


BBC Persian reported the blogger and her partner were detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps for camping in a military precinct around Jajrood in Tehran province.

The pair had been documenting their travels on YouTube and Instagram.

Concerns were raised by their online followers when they failed to add any news posts in the past several weeks.

British-Iranian mother of one, 41-year-old Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been held in Evin jail on spying charges since 2016.

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

The latest two cases are believed to be the first imprisonments in Iran of British passport holders who do not also have Iranian nationality.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reviewed its travel advice for Iran on Monday, adding additional information to the local travel and safety and security sections of its Smart Traveller website.

However the advice level today remains at “reconsider your need to travel”.

“Reconsider your need to travel to Iran due to the risk that foreigners, including Australians, could be arbitrarily detained or arrested,” the government-provided website states.

“Dual nationals are also at risk.

“We can’t guarantee access to consular services or legal representation if you’re detained or arrested.”

The website further states that Iran does not recognise dual nationality.

“If you’re a dual Australian/Iranian national, it is highly unlikely the Australian Government would be allowed to assist if you’re arrested or detained,” it reads.

DFAT has been contacted by news.com.au for comment.

— With AAP


Originally published as Three Aussies held in notorious Iran jail