Mother of Israeli Held in Russia on Drug Charges Visits Her, Says She Hopes Putin Will Pardon Daughter

The mother of Israeli woman Naama Issachar, a 25-year-old jailed by Russia for illegal drug possession, visited her daughter on Monday for the first time since she was convicted of smuggling 9.6 grams of hashish and sentenced to seven and a half years behind bars.

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Yaffa Issachar told Haaretz after the visit that she had heard of reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin would consider pardoning her daughter, but that the family was trying not to hang on to hope.

"A hard day, but I saw her and that's most important," said the mother. According to her, she brought Naama Israeli newspapers so she can see the nationwide interest and buzz that her case has stirred. She said that "Naama was unable to see newspapers, and that amazed her."

Yaffa Issachar added that up to now, the family's concerns had only revolved around the investigation and trial, and suddenly they "have to worry about prison. The question now is how long will it [the attempts to have her released] take and if it might be better to proceed with the appeal process."

the uncle of Naama Issachar, and his wife look at a newspaper with an article about Naama at their home in Rehovot, Israel October 13, 2019. AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin appealed to Putin to consider the unique circumstances of the case and pardon Issachar.