Monday, May 4, 2009

British woman could face Laos death penalty

Source: CNN

A pregnant British woman facing possible execution in Laos will go on trial this week, the country's foreign affairs ministry said Monday.

Samantha Orobator "is facing death by firing squad for drug trafficking," said Clare Algar, executive director of Reprieve, a London-based human rights group.

Orobator, 20, was arrested on August 5, said Khenthong Nuanthasing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman.

She was alleged to have been carrying just over half a kilogram (1.1 pounds) of heroin, Reprieve lawyer Anna Morris told CNN by phone from Vientiane, the Laotian capital. "For that amount of heroin the sentence is normally the death penalty," she said.

Orobator's mother Jane found out in January her daughter was pregnant -- more than four months after she was arrested, her mother said.

Jane Orobator heard the news from the British Foreign Office, which has been monitoring the case, the mother told CNN by phone from Dublin, where she lives.

She cannot believe her daughter was involved in drug trafficking, and was surprised to learn she was in Laos, she said.

"I don't know" what she was doing there, she said. "The last time she spoke with me, she said she was on holiday in London and she would come to see us in Dublin before returning to the U.K. in July.

"She is not the type of person who would be involved in drugs," she added.

Reprieve is worried about her health, especially given her pregnancy, Anna Morris said.

"She became pregnant in prison. We are concerned that it may not have been consensual and we are concerned that someone who finds herself in prison at 20 is subject to exploitation," she said.


First of all. "I don't know what she was doing there" and "She is not the type of person who would be involved in drugs," don't go together. If you're a mom and you don't know where your daughter is then you have no idea what she could be involved in.

Secondly, the fact she got pregnant in prison is really scary. Isn't that against the law here? How do you get pregnant in a Laotian prison? Nobody can get into LAOS the country let alone into the prison. Raped by guards and officials is the only think I can assume.

So I'm torn on this issue. Yes you have to follow the countries laws and if it's the death penalty then there's really nothing the Brits can do. 1.1 pounds of heroin is alot! However, when the country is as lawless as Laos is and the prisoner got pregnant in prison!, then something is definitely messed up. All credibility of the officials is now void.

I think if something like this happened here, the case might be thrown out. Someone with a law background might want to confirm or deny that.

1 comment:

denities said...

Good !