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Iran Releases Russian Journalist After A Week of Detention

Russian journalist Yulia Yuzik released from detention in Iran. File photo

Iran has freed a Russian journalist, Yulia Yuzik, who had been detained last week, the Russian embassy in Tehran said on social media on Thursday.

"As a result of joint efforts of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in Tehran, the Iranian side made a decision on the release of Russian citizen Yulia Yuzik," it said.

According to the embassy, Yuzik flew back to Moscow on Thursday morning.

Initially, Russian news agencies quoted an embassy spokesman in Tehran saying she would be charged with spying for Israel, which would be a very serious accusation in the Islamic Republic. The Russian foreign ministry urged Iran to release her. Days later, Iranian officials said she was detained for "visa violations".

Yuzik flew to Tehran upon a private invitation on September 29, Andrei Ganenko said, adding that the embassy found out about her detention only on Friday. "We have not yet received official notification from the local authorities," he said.

Iran currently holds many foreign nationals, mainly Westerners and dual nationals on various ambiguous charges. International rights organizations criticize Iran for lack of transparency in trials of foreigners and critics, who are also denied due process of law.

Reporting by Reuters