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Russian woman who tried to join Islamic State granted parole

According to the court’s ruling, Varvara Karaulova must come once a month to be registered and should not change her permanent residence
Varvara Karaulova Sergei Shvilkin/TASS
Varvara Karaulova
© Sergei Shvilkin/TASS

VOLOGDA, April 16. /TASS/. The Vologda City Court has satisfied a motion to grant parole to Varvara Karaulova (aka Alexandra Ivanova) convicted for attempting to join the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia), a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.

"The petition for the convict’s parole is subject to satisfaction," the judge announced.

According to the court’s ruling, Karaulova must come once a month to be registered and should not change her permanent residence. If she violates her parole conditions, she will return to serving her sentence.

The court’s verdict has not entered into force yet, the parties have ten days to appeal it. If the ruling is not appealed, Karaulova will be able to leave the penal colony after the court ruling comes into force.

During the trial, the judge said the court had received a letter from Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova who asked to support Karaulova’s parole petition.

In his speech, Karaulova’s Defense Attorney Sergei Badamshin said his client posed no danger to society and fully repented for her previous deeds. "I believe that Ivanova has turned over a new leaf, and there is no need for her to serve out her sentence in full," he noted.

For his part, the prosecutor spoke out against granting parole to the convict, who "did not admit her guilt." "Taking into account the files that have been studied and the parties’ arguments in court, I believe granting parole to Ivanova is impossible," he said.

Karaulova pointed out that those three and half years that she had spent in a penal colony were hard for both herself and her relatives. "What I did was bad, and I blame myself for that," she said.

Karaulova case

On May 27, 2015, Varvara Karaulova flew from Moscow to Istanbul without informing her parents. Upon arrival in Turkey, she was met and transported to a safe house in Kilis, in the southcentral part of the country. Later on, she was taken into custody by security services, while attempting to cross the border illegally. The girl was repatriated on June 12, 2015, and was arrested in the autumn of the same year. In December 2016, the Moscow District Military Court sentenced Karaulova to four years and six months in a penal colony. The court’s ruling was appealed, but the Russian Supreme Court’s Appellate Chamber ruled that the sentence was lawful.