03:10 GMT26 January 2021
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    Secretary of the Russian Union of Journalists Timur Shafir said that the organisation is trying to contact the Iranian side in order to get information about the incident and shed light on the accusations against the woman.

    The Iranian Foreign Ministry has stated that Russian journalist Yulia Yuzik detained in the country earlier would be released soon. 

    "She was detained to give a number of explanations, she will soon be released," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

    Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova announced that the Iranian envoy has been summoned to the ministry over the arrest of the Russian journalist.

    "The Iranian ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry due to detention of Russian citizen Yulia Yuzik in Tehran, in order to briefly clarify the circumstances of the incident and ensure the rights of the Russian female", Zakharova stated.

    Yuzik's ex-husband Boris Voitsekhovskiy said on Facebook that Yuzik had been arrested earlier this week. The journalist's daughter also confirmed the incident via her mother's account.

    Yulia Yuzik
    Yulia Yuzik

    According to Voitsekhovskiy, Yuzik, who had visited the Islamic Republic several years ago, returned to Iran and was arrested in her hotel room by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards on Friday.

    The officers took her documents and her cell phone, letting the journalist make one short call one day after the arrest.

    Voitsekhovskiy said that Tehran has accused her of espionage on behalf of Israel and that her trial is scheduled on Saturday, adding that the journalist faces up to ten years of imprisonment.

    Comment from Embassy

    The Russian Embassy in Iran has stated that diplomats are looking into the case, adding that it hasn't received any legal notice from the Iranian authorities.

    Public relations attaché at the embassy Andrei Ganenko noted that the journalist didn't inform diplomats when her passport was seized

    "Yuzik arrived in Tehran at a private invitation on 29 September, as far as we know. Upon arrival, her passport was seized by officers with the Imam Khomeini International Airport's border patrol for reasons that remain unknown", he said.

    Claims that hearings in her case will be held on 5 October are unverified, the press secretary stressed.


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    Journalist, espionage case, espionage charges, detention, arrest, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran, Russia
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