Naama Issachar's mother lands in Israel, hopeful that Putin will release her daughter

Mother of American-Israeli woman jailed in Russia returns to Israel, hopeful that her daughter will receive presidential pardon.

David Rosenberg ,

Yaffa Issachar, mother of Naama Issachar
Yaffa Issachar, mother of Naama Issachar
Courtesy of the Issachar family

Yaffa Issachar, the mother of Naama Issachar, returned to Israel Sunday afternoon, after two months in Russia lobbying for her daughter’s release.

Following her arrival in Israel, Issachar expressed optimism regarding the prospects of Russian President Vladimir Putin intervening on her daughter’s behalf to secure her a pardon, paving the way for her return to Israel.

“I believe Putin will pardon her,” said Issachar, according to Yediot Aharonot, adding that it will become clear this week if Putin does indeed plan to pardon her daughter.

“We have arrived at the moment of truth, this week I will know when Naama will be released.”

Twenty-six-year-old Naama Issachar, a dual US-Israeli citizen, was arrested last April during a layover in Moscow, while flying back to Israel from India.

After nine-and-a-half grams of marijuana were found in her baggage, Naama was arrested and tried on drug smuggling charges.

While Naama denied the allegations, she was found guilty by a Russian court and sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

The Issachar family has claimed that Naama’s arrest was linked to Russia’s demand that a Russian hacker wanted in the US, Aleksey Burkov, be returned to Russia.

Issachar appealed her sentence in December, but the court rejected her appeal. The family has since promised to appeal again, this time to the International Human Rights Tribunal in Strasbourg, France.

On Thursday, reports said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was planning to pardon Naama Issachar prior to his departure for Israel on Tuesday.