Pregnant Brit Won't Face Laos Death Penalty

Law prohibits execution of those with child; lawyer still can't see her
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2009 3:26 PM CDT
Samantha Orobator.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Samantha Orobator, the Briton jailed in Laos on heroin-smuggling charges, will not face the death penalty because she is pregnant, CNN reports. The 20-year-old was, however, denied access to a British attorney who flew in with assurances they could meet. The lawyer “was refused her first visit,” a UK human-rights group said, and “the Laotians are now saying that she will not be permitted to visit.”

“This is totally unacceptable,” said the director of the group, Reprieve. Laotian authorities agree that Orobator is 5 months pregnant, though they declined to discuss how the woman, jailed for 9 months, was impregnated. “She became pregnant in prison,” the Reprieve lawyer said. “We are concerned that it may not have been consensual.” Laotian law prohibits the execution of a pregnant woman. (Read more Laos stories.)