Iran frees Russian journalist 'accused of working for Israel'

Yulia Yuzik was arrested in Tehran for alleged visa violations, but Russia says she was accused of working for Israel.

    Yuzik had arrived in Tehran on September 29 and was detained on October 2 in her hotel room [File: Reuters]
    Yuzik had arrived in Tehran on September 29 and was detained on October 2 in her hotel room [File: Reuters]

    Russia says Iran has released a Russian journalist who was arrested last week over a visa violation.

    The Russian embassy in Tehran tweeted that Yulia Yuzik was freed and she left Iran on Thursday morning on an Aeroflot flight to Moscow.

    Yuzik had arrived in Tehran on September 29 and was detained on October 2 in her hotel room.

    191004133931554

    An Iranian government spokesman said she was being held over alleged visa violations, but the Russian embassy said she had been accused of working for Israeli security services.

    "As a result of joint efforts of the Russian foreign ministry and the Russian embassy in Tehran, Iran decided to release Russian citizen Yulia Yuzik," the embassy said on Twitter.

    Russia summoned the Iranian ambassador last week to clarify the circumstances of the arrest.

    Journalist Boris Voitsekhovskiy, identified by the Russian media as Yuzik's ex-husband, said on Facebook that she had landed in the Russian capital.

    Yuzik has worked for several prominent Russian publications and has reported from Iran.

    She has written two books, including Beslan Dictionary - based on testimonies of the survivors of the 2004 school massacre that killed at least 330 people, more than half of them children.

    SOURCE: News agencies