It's apparently yet another case of some menuval (despicable person) convincing young tourists to take an "innocent" suitcase. In this case, the menuval promised to pay for the plane tickets for her and her friends, if only they take the suitcase with them.
I honestly don't know how these despicable people live with themselves, knowing the incredible harm they cause these innocent youth.
Anyway, it's a Verified Campaign (which means it has been checked out & is legit).
They managed to raise half the money necessary, but another huge chunk is needed.
Please, whatever you can manage.
The mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim (redeeming captives) brings tremendous blessing to those who contribute.
Every dollar counts.
Again, here's the Donate Page:
And here's the plea from her father, Shimon Peretz:
PIDYON SHVUYIM: Please Save My Daughter. Without You She May Spend 15 Years In A Brutal, Foreign Prison
My name is Shimon Peretz. My daughter Batel was offered an “all expenses paid” trip to Bulgaria by a member of our community, in exchange for bringing a suitcase with items perfectly legal in Israel. Growing up sheltered, she had no idea she was being tricked. Upon arrival, she was arrested and brought to prison.
She has been subjected to harsh conditions unheard of in the Israeli or US penal system. She is allowed only one phone call a day with us. When I visit her, I am not allowed to hug her. She cannot communicate with her jailers. Even something as simple as asking for a glass of water or letting the nurse know she is feeling ill is usually impossible. Her health and spirit is deteriorating rapidly. This young girl from a loving home is being housed together with murders and violent criminals, many of whom don’t like Jews. Her life is in grave danger and I want her to come home.
Our whole family is suffering. My son, a sensitive young boy with no history of mental illness, recently became institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital. The “unknown” regarding his sister has been too much for him to bear.
We are spending a lot on lawyers. Because of language issues, we have had to hire translators and other professionals at a high price. She is not being provided with Kosher food, so my wife and I rented an apartment in Bulgaria to cook food for her and her friends. We are being offered a plea bargain in exchange for expensive “fines.” We don’t have that kind of money, but without it, she may spend 15 years in prison and who knows if she will make it out alive.
My dear fellow Jews, I am begging you for your help. Without you, I will lose my precious daughter. While all mitzvahs are great, the Gemara singles out Pidyon Shvuyim as a “Mitzvah Rabbah”. Because the Talmud says “captivity” is worse than starving to death, the Rambam rules redeeming a captive takes precedence over charity for the poor. The Shulchon Aruch says one who delays in redeeming a captive is considered a murderer.
Because Batel is a girl, halacha gives her precedence for redemption. The reward and bracha you will receive for helping is unimaginable. Hashem listens to the tefillah of the broken-hearted and I daven that Hashem grant you wealth in abundance, health and nachas from your kids.
We are trying to raise money for Pidyon Shvuyim. Our goal is for 500 people to donate $390. The reward for this Mitzvah will surely stand you in good stead.
UPDATE BEFORE SHABBOS 10/16/2020:
Baruch Hashem we are halfway to our goal. Thank you so much to all those who have helped but we must, must make it to our goal to get Batel back home & safe. She will spend this Shabbos in a jail cell. Tizku l'mitzvos!!
UPDATE 16/11/20: A caring reader just informed me that we should daven for Bat-El bat Inbal (her mother's name).