Israeli Held in Belarus for Possession of Medical Cannabis

The woman's lawyers say she could face up to seven years in prison if not released soon, urge the Israeli government to intervene

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Minsk airport, this month.
Minsk airport, this month.Credit: ANDREI POKUMEIKO - AFP

An Israeli lawyer has been detained in Belarus for three weeks for possession of 2.5 grams (0.09 oz) of medical cannabis, her lawyers said Saturday.

The attorneys representing the woman, Maya Reiten Stoll, said she carries a license to use medical cannabis due to health issues she suffers from.

The Foreign Ministry said the case was being investigated and that the Israeli ambassador to Belarus, Alex Goldman-Shayman, had visited Stoll.

Stoll's lawyers, Avi Himi and Sharon Nahari, said she was a single mother of two and that she had been arrested while on a business trip. "The concern is that if she is not released immediately, she will be sent to prison for years," they said.

According to them, the penalty in Belarus for the offense ranges from three to seven years in prison.

"There is room for the government to intervene using diplomatic channels in order to clarify to the authorities in Belarus the nature of Stoll's license to use medical cannabis," Nahari said. If this is not successful, "it will be a serious tragedy," she said.

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