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Prison guards allow blogger Jolie King to call her family after weeks of interrogation

A travel blogger arrested in Iran has been allowed to call her family from prison, it was revealed yesterday.

Jolie King, who has dual British-Australian nationality, told relatives she was trying to find a lawyer and hoped she might be released on bail. 

She and her Australian boyfriend Mark Firkin have been held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison without charge for around ten weeks.

Jolie King and her boyfriend Mark Firkin have been held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison without charge for around ten weeks

Their families insist their arrests were a 'misunderstanding' after the pair flew a drone without realising it was illegal. It is thought they were near a military zone.

Local TV journalist Pouria Zeraati said the couple had both been allowed to call home. 

Miss King's father Mike, who was born in Maldon, Essex, told friends he just wanted to be 'reunited with his daughter'.

The families issued a joint statement calling for the pair to be released safely 'as soon as possible'.

The couple had embarked on a three-year journey driving a converted Toyota Land Cruiser from Australia to London and posted video blogs to fund their trip, including aerial shots filmed on their drone.

Australian officials have held talks with Tehran about securing the release of Miss King and Mr Firkin, along with a British-Australian female academic who studied at Cambridge University

Iran has detained a number of Westerners with dual nationality recently, including British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has denied accusations she was spying in the country.

Australian officials have held talks with Tehran about securing the release of Miss King and Mr Firkin, along with a British-Australian female academic who studied at Cambridge University.

The Melbourne University lecturer, who the Mail is choosing not to name, was arrested almost a year ago and has also been held at Evin, where she was believed to have been kept in solitary confinement.

Friends have told of an intelligent and caring young woman with a strong sense of justice and who lived for her work as an expert in Middle East affairs.

The academic, who has British family ties, grew up in a small Australian town, where she went to college before travelling to the UK as an undergraduate student of the Middle East at Cambridge.

While there in 2011, as a member of the Cambridge Union, she met guest speaker Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Friends have described her as shy and measured with her words and cannot understand how she came to be in her current predicament.

The Australian government, leading the talks to free the trio, said they hoped for movement soon. 

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