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Pregnant British Woman Could Face Laos Death Penalty

Another reminder that carrying drugs to countries with draconian anti-trafficking laws is extremely dangerous: a Nigerian-born woman from London arrested for carrying heroin may face death by firing squad in Vientiane, Laos.

Samantha Orobator, 20, was arrested in August for carrying 1.1 pounds of heroin in the Laotian capital. Anna Morris, a lawyer for Reprieve, a group that uses the law to enforce human rights for prisoners, told CNN that "For that amount of heroin the sentence is normally the death penalty."

On top of her other woes, Orobator became pregnant in prison, and her lawyers worry that she may have been raped there. There is no British embassy in Laos, but the British Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell said that Laos authorities are aware that the British government is opposed to the death penalty and have dispatched British Embassy officials and the British Ambassador to visit her.

Orobator's trial begins this week.


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