Israeli President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin has written to President of Peru Martin Alberto Vizcarra Cornejo with a request to grant clemency to Hodaya Monsongo, who has been under arrest in Peru for several months.
Hodaya, who is 24 years old and has medical and mental health issues, was arrested around six months ago on suspicion of smuggling drugs and faces similar charges.
In his letter, the President wrote that Hodaya suffers medical issues and has been diagnosed with limited cognitive ability, and her judgment is therefore impaired. In addition, he wrote that she has no previous criminal record and that it is reasonable to believe that her unique condition, as described in his letter, led her to be involved in the alleged matter unintentionally.
The President requested that the authorities take into account her fragile condition, and added that Hodaya speaks only Hebrew and that she has found it difficult to communicate with her local lawyers.
“Taking into account these severe humanitarian circumstances, we are deeply concerned Hodaya’s mental and physical safety, especially in light of her prolonged detention and distance from her family,” Rivlin stressed, adding, “under these unique circumstances, I would kindly appeal to your mercy and compassion with a request for your personal intervention to grant Ms. Hodaya Monsongo a pardon.”
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned Naama Issachar, a 26-year-old Israeli woman convicted of smuggling marijuana into Russia. After Issachar's release, she traveled home with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, on his private plane.
On Friday, Issachar claimed that she was innocent and had been wrongly convicted. Her lawyers have confirmed that they will file an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights, in keeping with the Issachars' instructions.