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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Samantha Orobator - A pregnant Black Woman who may be executed in Laos.

Samantha Orobator

AAPP says: Get this, Samantha Orobator fell pregnant four months after being taken into prison. Is there any question this pretty black woman was raped? I wonder if Samantha Orobator was blonde and blue eyed, if media in the U.S. would cover this story big time? What do you think?

According to the telegraph.co.uk, Miss Orobator, 20, from London was arrested last August at Wattay airport in the south east Asian country.

Prosecutors claim she had 680 grams (1.3lb or 21 oz) of heroin in her luggage.

According to the legal campaign group Reprieve she has not met a lawyer since she was arrested 9 months ago but it is believed that she denies the drugs were hers.

Under Lao law the death penalty is mandatory for possession of over 500 grams of heroin. At least 39 people have been sentenced to death for a variety of offences since 2003.

On Thursday, without warning or explanation, the government of Laos rescheduled Miss Orobator's trial for next week, but they have still not announced which day the case will begin.

A statement by Reprieve said: "By scheduling her trial for next week, the Laos court has made it impossible for any lawyer to prepare an adequate defence... Samatha's life now hangs in the balance." The fast tracking of the trial came as the Lao authorities knew that a lawyer from Reprieve was preparing to meet Miss Orobator for the first time.

"Laos appears to be acting in a way that frustrates Samantha's right to appropriate legal assistance," Reprieve concluded.

Miss Orobator became pregnant in unknown circumstances in December, four months after she was arrested. "It is not possible to confirm whether she was raped," Reprieve said.

"The prison where she is being held in Phonthong is meant to be all female, but this is apparently not the case."

Reports of the notoriously abusive Phonthong prison describe "highly unsanitary" conditions, inadequate rations and severe punishments for supposed breaches of discipline.

Reprieve said: "Samantha is severely distressed, and Reprieve has grave concerns for her health and that of her unborn child." Another British prisoner, Michael Newman, died after being reportedly refused medical attention at the same prison last year.

Miss Orobator had been on holiday in Holland, Thailand and Laos for around a month when she was arrested as she began her journey home.

Her friends in London, interviewed by Reprieve researchers preparing her defence, say she had never been involved with drugs. More HERE

US lawyer Clive Stafford Smith (L), friend of Samantha Orobator Ronke Oseni and MP Stephen Pound attend a press conference in central London. The British foreign ministry has said it is trying to ensure lawyers can gain access to Orobator, a pregnant 20-year-old who faces the death penalty in Laos if she is found guilty of drug trafficking. More HERE.

UPDATE: My good friend The Field Negro and Huffington Post is now covering the story.

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