Aussie blogger ‘moved from solitary’ in evil jail
AUSTRALIAN detainee Jolie King has received new clothes and been let out of solitary confinement in an Iranian jail, as new details emerge of her treatment.
Ms King was detained in July along with her boyfriend Mark Firkin for flying a drone as part of their travel blog.
The Times of London reported that she had been moved several weeks ago into the general population of the Evin Prison in Tehran and has been in contact with British political prisoner Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
Richard Ratcliffe, her husband, has revealed that Ms King was trying her best to cope with her ordeal.
He told The Times of London that his wife had revealed Ms King had "a really fun sense of humour, and is very creative at making things with her hands".
Mr Radcliffe added that Ms King was "more upbeat since she got sent some clothes. People often have to stay in the clothes they were wearing when arrested for weeks when in solitary (confinement). I think it was over a month for Nazanin."
There has been no detail so far of Mr Firkin's time in prison.
DUTTON: DIPLOMATIC BID TO FREE AUSSIES
Peter Dutton has said diplomatic efforts are in full swing to secure the release of three Australians locked up in Iran.
The home affairs minister said all available resources would be allocated to supporting the three Australians and their families.
"It's best that we don't publicly comment on it," Mr Dutton told the Nine Network on Friday.
"I think we're better to let the diplomats do their work and for us to work through the links we have with Iran, so we can get these people back home as soon as possible."
Government ministers have rejected suggestions Australia is somehow being targeted for joining a US-led mission to defend shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, or over global unrest about Iran's nuclear program.
Deputy opposition leader Richard Marles agrees.
"I don't think there's any evidence of that," Mr Marles said.
PRISON SWAP DEAL UNDER WAY
Authorities told Ms King she was being held in the hope of a prisoner swap, The Times of London also reports.
Iran is reportedly seeking Negar Ghodskani, 40, who was arrested in Australia in 2017 for attempting to dodge US sanctions and "illegally export controlled technology" to Iran.
Ghodskani was jailed in Adelaide for six months, where she gave birth to a boy in custody, before being extradited to America.
She then pleaded guilty to the charges.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif has previously called for Ghodskani's release during a speech at the Asia Society in New York.
"We have an Iranian lady in Australia who gave birth in prison after she was arrested on an extradition request from the United States," he said.
"But nobody talks about this lady in Australia who gave birth to a child in prison, whose child is growing up outside prison with the mother in prison."
ANOTHER AUSSIE WOMAN DETAINED
It comes as the details surrounding the case of another Australian woman, a lecturer who attended Cambridge University and also has a British passport, remain unclear.
The woman has been detained for up to a year, with fears that all three prisoners may be used as bargaining chips in Iran's ongoing battle with the West over its nuclear ambitions.
Ms King and Mr Firkin had been travelling the world, hoping to show off some destinations off the beaten track, leaving in 2017 after putting the 9-5 life behind them.
Vishnu Vidyadharan, 27, a motor engineer, met Ms King, in Bandung, Indonesia, in June last year.
"Jolie and Mark were so excited and passionate about their journey when I met them," he told The Times.
"They weren't there to spy and I was shocked to hear they had been arrested.
"They were full of the joys of life and were just a beautiful couple. I was working in the area and took some time off to explore. I met them in a restaurant and we were both new to the country so we were discussing all the different sights that we wanted to see."
He added: "I've sent some messages to their families and they replied to say they are able to phone them every now and again in prison. I hope they can get out soon."