Russia is jailing a 25-year old woman with dual American and Israeli citizenship and has charged her with smuggling drugs into Russia after authorities discovered she was carrying nine grams of marijuana in her luggage at the airport.
Naama Issachar was apprehended by Moscow authorities in
April after she boarded a connecting flight to Tel Aviv. She was notified
cannabis was found in the bag she checked in and was taken into an interrogation
Issachar maintains the marijuana was not hers and insists she
has was unaware it was in her luggage.
Her family has been fighting for her freedom since.
“My sister is falling apart,” her sister, Liad Gold,
told Fox News Wednesday. “She is in a Russian prison where no one speaks
English and she is at her breaking point.”
“At this point, it has been 4-and-a-half months,” she
continued, “and enough is enough.”
Gold said Issachar was shocked to learn there was cannabis
in her suitcase and her sister was “absolutely wrongfully charged.”
“She was backpacking for three months through India,”
Gold said. “She slept in so many hostels and guest houses and was
around so many different people. Her mistake was that she didn’t properly clean
out her bag. But when they found it her mouth dropped open. She had no idea it
In May, Moscow reportedly upgraded Issachar’s charge from cannabis possession to drug smuggling, resulting in her detention getting extended six times and her transfer to three different prisons, where she is prohibited from visits and phone calls from her family until trial.
Issachar faces a 10-year prison sentence for the drug
smuggling charge, according to prosecutors.
Following her arrest, Issachar’s mother went to Russia where
she remains. She’s visited her daughter four times and spoken to her on the phone
twice, according to Gold.
Issachar’s family has requested intervention from the Israeli
and American embassies, to no avail.
“They all say that their hands are tied and they cannot get involved in the legal proceedings of Russia,” Gold said. “My goal is to ask her country, whether it’s Israel or America, to please get involved and help bring her home. I am begging the government of America and the government of Israel, please help bring my baby sister home before she faces an unjust sentencing.”