British Pregnant Woman Given Life Sentence in Laos

June 3, 2009

(ChattahBox)— A 20-year old British pregnant woman was sentenced in Laos Wednesday, to life imprisonment, after she was caught with 1.5lbs of heroin at Wattay airport while trying to board a plane to Thailand. Samantha Orobator, found guilty of drug trafficking, could have received a death sentence by firing squad.

This unsettling case provides yet another warning to travelers NOT to carry drugs into Southeast Asia, which imposes the most harshest punishments for drug possession in the world, usually death by hanging or firing squad. Travel experts even advise people to carry a doctor’s prescription with them when travelling with prescription drugs to avoid arrest.

Orobator has been in Phonthong prison since last August, often referred to as the foreigner’s jail, with horrific conditions that are actually considered better than the hundreds of other “gulags” in Laos that hold locals.

Before Laos officials would proceed with her trial, they demanded that she sign a statement exonerating prison officials of raping her. Samantha Orobator’s mother was allowed to visit her daughter for the first time last month and after the visit, she issued a statement that her daughter informed her that she was not raped in prison and that father is not a Laotian prison official.

Now that Orabator received her sentence, she may be allowed to serve her sentence in England, due to a prisoner exchange treaty between the two countries.

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