In the six days since her arrest, she has been allowed just one short phone call to tell her family that she was arrested at her Tehran hotel and that the Revolutionary Guards suspected her of spying. Government spokesman Ali Rabiei yesterday denied any question of a spying charge, saying she was being held because of a “visa problem.”
“Visa issues could not constitute grounds for detaining Yulia Yuzik,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “We call on the Iranian authorities to release her without delay.”
After working as a freelancer for several years in Iran, Yuzik returned on a private visit on 29 September. A former reporter for Komsomolskaya Pravda and Russian Newsweek, she is the author of the bestsellers “Brides of Allah” and “Requiem for Beslan.” She is a critic of the Russian government and ran for the Russian parliament in 2016 on a liberal ticket
Iran is ranked 170th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.