An Israeli woman has been imprisoned for four months in Russia without being allowed to air her defence after 9 grams of marijuana were found in her luggage. Naama Issachar denies the marijuana was hers.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Issachar’s sister said the 25-year-old Israeli army veteran, who was traveling back to Israel from a post-service trip in India, is “falling apart” in prison.
She has only been allowed a few family visits and phone calls, and will not be allowed to make a trial statement through her defence attorney until Sept. 3, according to the Post. She was detained in April.
As Issachar was boarding her connecting flight from Moscow to Tel Aviv, Russian police pulled her over. Denying the cannabis was hers, Issachar said she did not know how it got in her luggage bag. Nine grams is less than a third of an ounce.
Her initial charge of possession of cannabis, which entails a fine and a month of detention, was subsequently changed to narcotics smuggling, which carries the possibility of three to 10 years in prison.
Issachar’s family has asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has cultivated a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, “to help us with his colleagues in the Russian government to remove Naama from the nightmare she has been under.”
“So far it’s been complete silence,” Liad Gold, Issachar’s sister, said about Netanyahu’s response in an interview with i24 News.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.