'My daughter is innocent'

Mother of Naama Issachar, jailed for bringing marijuana into Russia, claims her daughter is being punished unfairly.

Chana Roberts ,

Naama Issachar
Naama Issachar
Courtesy of the family

Yaffa Issachar, the mother of a young Israeli jailed for illegal possession of marijuana, on Tuesday morning arrived at the prison where her daughter is incarcerated, but was refused entry.

On Monday night, Issachar was told by a judge that she would be allowed to visit her daughter Naama, Israel Hayom reported. However, upon her arrival at the prison, she was refused entry, since the Israeli Consul had been allowed to visit last week at the expense of this week's visit.

Lawyers, as well as the ambassador's deputy, attempted unsuccessfully to convince authorities to allow Issachar in, and eventually she was forced to return to her Moscow apartment. In addition, it was decided not to allow Naama to hold telephone conversations.

Tuesday's visit was scheduled to be the last meeting between the two at this point in time, since their Hebrew conversations are difficult for the Russians to supervise, Israel Hayom added.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said: "The issue was immediately raised through diplomatic channels in both Jerusalem and Moscow. This is in addition to the consular handling of the issue and accompaniment that we are providing for this case."

"I'm helpless and I can't understand why they make things more and more difficult for Naama every day," Yaffa said. "It's abuse and I am requesting that the President, Prime Minister, and the head of the National Security Council bring about the end of the abuse towards Naama."

"Naama is innocent and she is paying a heavy price because of a diplomatic and legal decision made by the State of Israel, which has nothing to do with Naama. She cannot be a hostage and a negotiating chip between countries."

Earlier this week, Yaffa Issachar met National Security Council Head Meir Ben-Shabbat to discuss the efforts to free Naama. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu surprised the two in the middle of the meeting, hugging Issachar and promising that the State of Israel will continue working to bring her daughter home.

Earlier this month, Naama Issachar was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison, after being convicted of illegally possessing 9.6 grams of marijuana while in a Moscow airport.

Though she claimed to have "no idea" how the drug got into her bag, she was recorded telling her friend that she's "in much bigger trouble" than the two had hoped for.




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