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Russian University Student Release After Regretting Marriage to ISIS Militant

Russian University Student Release After Regretting Marriage to ISIS Militant

Wednesday, 17 April, 2019 - 14:45
Russian university student Varvara Karaulova (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Moscow- Taha Abdulwahed
A Russian court has granted parole to a Russian university student, who was jailed for attempting to join ISIS terrorist group in Syria.

Varvara Karaulova was studying at Moscow State University and she got married to an ISIS militant. Her story has sparked wide media interest in social, legal, and political circles in Russia and abroad.

Her father, Pavel Karaulov, said “we’re over the moon, but it’s still hard to believe.”

It dates back to 2015, when her father made a plea through social media to stop the abduction of children and trafficking in human beings.

Varvara left home on May 27 heading to the university, and she hasn’t returned yet, he said, describing her as “a good, smart young lady who doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol.”

He then suggested that someone had recruited her to join ISIS.

Early June 2015, Turkish security forces found her and had her arrested while trying to cross the Turkish border into Syria illegally. They deported her to Russia.

Russian security forces first talked to her and advised her not to repeat what she did. They put her under surveillance in addition to her computer, mobile phone, and all means of communications she used.

She was arrested several months later after being accused of trying again to communicate with ISIS militants. She was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment.

During investigations and security operations, and based on her confessions, it turned out she had decided to flee to Turkey after getting married to an ISIS militant online. She then decided to go to Syria in search of another militant whom she fell in love with on the Internet as well.

In the fall of 2018, she filed a petition seeking amnesty from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Tuesday, Vologda District Court, where she was serving her sentence, announced its response to the petition, saying it was no longer necessary to isolate her.

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