Sydney, Australia, Oct 26 (EFE).- New Zealand confirmed Wednesday the release of two New Zealand bloggers held since early July in Iran for undisclosed reasons.
“The New Zealanders to whom we have provided consular assistance in Iran have already left the country and are safe and well. For privacy reasons, we cannot comment further,” a New Zealand Foreign Ministry spokesman told EFE.
New Zealand bloggers Topher Richwhite and Bridget Thackwray, who had been documenting their ATV journey around the world for more than four years, abruptly stopped publishing their journey when they entered Iran four months ago.
“Over the last few months, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Government of New Zealand have worked intensively to ensure the safe departure of two New Zealanders from Iran,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Wednesday morning in a video posted on her Facebook profile.
“I cannot give many more details, but I can confirm that this has happened and that it has been especially difficult, as I understand it, for the two individuals involved,” said the president, who is on a trip to a New Zealand base in Antarctica.
Ardern condemned the actions of Iranian authorities who repressed protests taking place in Iran since Sep. 16, following the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, after being arrested by the morality police for allegedly not covering her face with a hijab or Islamic veil.
The New Zealand Foreign Ministry updated Wednesday its travel alert to Iran, urging citizens not to travel to the country due to the possibility of “violent civil unrest, the risk of being arrested or detained and the volatile situation in the region.”
“The security risk in Iran is significant,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a statement. EFE