Ex-Moscow university student convicted of attempt to join ISIS released
MOSCOW, April 27 (RAPSI) – Varvara Karaulova, ex-student of the Moscow State University sentenced to 4.5 years for attempting to join the Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria, left prison on Saturday morning, her attorney Sergey Badamshin wrote on his Twitter account.
Varvara Karaulova is at large, the lawyer stated.
Karaulova filed her parole petition in late March. Russia's High Commissioner for Human Rights Tatiana Moskalkova also applied to court asking to grant Karaulova's petition. However, penitentiary officials objected to the convict's early release, according to Badamshin.
On April 16, a court in Russia’s Vologda granted parole to Karaulova.
The second-year student of the Moscow State University’s Faculty of Philosophy decided to join ISIS, a terrorist organization prohibited in Russia, and secretly started off for Istanbul on May 27, 2015.
Karaulova, who later changed her name to Alexandra Ivanova, was arrested on June 4, 2015, near Turkey's border with Syria along with 13 other Russian citizens when attempting to cross into the territory occupied by Islamic State terrorists. In October 2015, she was put in jail. She pleaded not guilty.
In October 2016, Karaulova was expelled from the university.
In December 2016, the Moscow District Military Court found that Karaulova decided to participate in the Islamic State terrorist group’s activities. The court noted that she shared organization's ideology. Karaulova was given a 4.5-year prison term. The Russian Supreme Court has upheld the sentence.