Samantha Orobator: Laotian Jail x Mystery Pregnancy

So this young lady, Samantha Orobator, is a 20 year-old British Nigerian who was allegedly caught with 1.5 pounds of heroin in her luggage when leaving Laos after her vacation. She’s been imprisoned since August 2008 and is now five months pregnant. Reports say she hasn’t had any visitors -outside of 20 mins per month w/ the British Authorities – and she hasn’t doesn’t have any legal representation to-date. In addition, the Laotian government keeps changing the date of her trial, which was supposed to be May 4 but was post-poned, in a country where they’ve executed 39 people since 2003. If she’s convicted of drug smuggling, which carries a mandatory death sentence, she – and her baby – will be shot to death by a firing squad.

I don’t know if you did the math…buuuut if you’ve been in jail for nine months, and you’re five months pregnant…and no one knows who the father is and you haven’t had any visitors except for a British authority rep for 20 mins a month..and the ‘government spokesman’ refuses to talk about it…in a prison where inmate brutality is rampant and folks have reported burnt genitals, I’m thinking…she was raped.

What the hey man? I don’t even know what to say other than ask a few questions…

A) Who’s the father?

B) Why was there heroin in your luggage?

C) What the hell?

Am I the only one baffled by all of this?



Last 5 posts by Hillary Crosley

  • i scratched my head when i first heard of this over the weekend….a collective “huh”?

  • Dom

    This is a sad sad situation. I mean, I can kinda understand the death sentence for a drug smuggling mom (although it is a bit harsh), but shooting the baby too? Thats so unnecessary.

  • Joelle

    This is unfortunate since we all know there are more systems at play here and should be up for questioning before we even begin to start pointing fingers at people! (smh) My prayers are with her and the baby… I feel for her… this is sad… there is a real deep story to this… hopefully the truth will come around sooner than later…

  • There are a lot of assumptions about this case. Most reports don’t ask the question about the facts that lead to her arrest in the first place. Currently, no one in the press has access to the ‘facts’ because no one has been given access to her (save for the consulate – which will never interfere in another country’s sovereign legal process).

    In fact, only these allegations are known at this time:
    1. Drugs were found in luggage during transit through Laos.
    2. The authorities have stated that the luggage belonged to her.
    3. The quantity is sufficient to incur the death penalty.
    4. She was locked up in a local prison facility, initially without consular assistance, then without legal assistance. Her family was not informed.
    5. She denies the charges, but other than that, zero information has been released.
    6. Legal counsel from Reprieve was denied access, despite being issued a visa. Only after international pressure was she allowed to pick a ‘local lawyer’ from a preselected list. When Reprieve was given access, it was in the presence of government officials – which meant nothing meaningful could be discussed with the detainee.
    7. Authorities intend to move her trial date forward. Normally, it takes years for such a trial to be heard, but in an effort to reduce the case’s profile, the authorities wish to short list it. Moving the date will make it very difficult for the defence to prepare. If they are heard at all.
    8. She is pregnant & it has been reported that this happened while she was detained in a women’s only prison.
    9. News reports suggest she is being coerced into saying the pregnancy was voluntary.

    In many countries, there is no presumption of innocence in drug smuggling cases. Laws in Oceana, Asia, the Middle East (among other areas) shift the burden of proving innocence onto the person charged if the authorities can prove possession. Any luggage can be tampered with. If it has a zip, it can be opened with a pen and resealed in seconds. Without a trace. Even if it is locked. It could happen to you.

    Seeing is believing:

    Luggage transit areas in airports are inherently unsafe and affected by criminal activity. It happens all the time and its not just Asia. Its in the west too. Its not an exaggeration – its a fact.

    Read about it:

    If it happened to you, would that make you a smuggler? Think about it next time you pack your luggage and check it in. Think about it next time you read a news story about a bag just like yours.

    Chances are, if it does happen, you won’t have a clue until you are in cuffs and the assumptions are written next to your name.