British woman faces Laos death penalty

Samantha Orobator became pregnant in prison, according to a spokeswoman for rights group Reprieve.
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. Orabator, 20, was arrested on August 5, said Khenthong Nuanthasing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman. Orobator’s mother Jane found out in January her daughter was nine weeks 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 sent a lawyer from London to Laos to try to help Orobator, Algar said. Anna Morris arrived there on Sunday and is hoping to visit Orobator on Tuesday, her boss at Reprieve said. A British consul has also arrived in the country. “Reprieve heard about her case two weeks ago. We had thought yesterday the trial was going to start today,” Algar said Monday. “We have now heard from Anna that it is not going to.” “Anna is hoping to find a Laotian lawyer who can represent her,” Algar added. The last execution in Laos was in 1990, the foreign affairs spokesman said. Samantha Orobator was born in Nigeria and moved to London with her family when she was 8, her mother said.