Two New Zealanders detained in Iran in recent months have been allowed to leave the country, New Zealand’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Wednesday.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said earlier on Tuesday in a live video broadcast on Facebook that the New Zealand government has been working very hard in recent months to allow them to leave Iran.
“It’s fair to say it’s been an incredibly difficult situation over the past few months,” Ardern said.
Neither Ardern nor the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would release any details about the detained couple or where they had been held.
The New Zealand Herald has reported that the two are social media influencers Topher Richwhite and Bridget Thackwray, who post under the name Expedition Earth.
The couple’s last post was 16 weeks ago from the Tas Yol Pass in Turkey.
The New Zealand government also on Wednesday updated its travel warnings for Iran, urging New Zealanders currently there to leave.
A statement released alongside the update said New Zealand continues to call for restraint on the part of authorities in responding to the demonstrations and for increased protection of women’s rights and freedom of expression.