Covering the WestSide as it is today and Challenging everyone to become involve as we move into the future.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Black Woman Faces Firing Squad if Found Guilty
A PREGNANT Brit held on drugs charges in Laos will not face trial until she has told the truth about her baby's father. Samantha Orobator will now stay behind bars after the case was postponed by the Laos Government.
The 20-year-old has been told she's got little chance of returning to the UK until she comes clean about who got her pregnant in the notorious Phonthong Prison for Foreigners in the capital Vientiane.
And now prisoners, including a 47-year-old Brit serving a life sentence for drugs trafficking, face the spotlight.
The Britain John Albert Watson, from Halifax, West Yorks, was Samantha's closest friend in the prison after she was sent there last August.
From the prison he has denied having sex with Samantha claiming: "It's impossible. I could not have done it. How could I have got to her?"
But a denial by the Laos authorities that there is free association between the sexes in the prison appears to be not totally frank.
Pics taken inside the prison show men and women are only separated by a flimsy wire fence.
Laos authorities have not ruled out the fact that Samantha may have impregnated herself with another prisoner's sperm to avoid the mandatory death sentence.
And after a blanket denial this week, through her mother Jane Orobator, that she was raped or had sex with a prison guard, Laos authorities have said they they have been compelled to investigate her pregnancy, as she had lied to them about it.
Drug Control Department Director, of the Minister of Public Security, Police Lt Col Khamphonh Sihaphancha said: "Everything will be postponed until everything is made clear."
"We will solve this case as soon as possible," he said, adding that Samantha had claimed she was sick and pregnant by a boyfriend in England last September.
Samantha, from Camberwell, South London, was arrested at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane on August 5, 2008, on her way to Sydney, Australia.
She had 680 grammes of heroin, contained in 68 capsules, hidden in different parts of her body.
Lt Col Khamphonh revealed, after details of her case were sent to the prosecutor last November, she was visited by an Aussie doctor seven times for health checks.
On each occasion the doctor passed security checks by prison guards.
Thai authorities at first even suspected the doctor as being the culprit but now officials have been forced to look for the suspect among the prisoners.
Watson's mum Pat is reported to have admitted she received a message three months ago telling her she would be a grandmother again.
She had allegedly described her son as being ecstatic and reported that male and female prisoners freely associated during the day.
Watson, who was jailed for trafficking in methamphetamines, has two children by a previous girlfriend. But they have been estranged since his arrest nearly four years ago, also at Wattay airport.
"Our challenge is to continue our search into the matter," Lt Col Khamphonh said.
The Laos authorities' belief that Samantha could have impregnated herself with another man's sperm has been fuelled because she had a syringe amongst her personal possessions, allegedly because she had "woman's problems".
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Arlene Jones' Biography
I was born in Chicago. I grew up in Cabrini Green. I attended Wells Sr High, the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle where I majored in Spanish and minored in Education. I have a diploma in Computer Programming.
I moved to Austin when I purchased a home here. I have two children.
I have been active in the community since moving here. I started with my blockclub. In the early 1990s, I worked with several people to try and form the North Austin Homeowners Association. I even went on patrol with a group of people who had a walkie talkie car patrol of the neighborhood.
As with most programs in the AA community, many factors led to the demise of those groups. Lack of support from elected officials was at the top of the list.
There were several people who had a group and we met out of DaVinci Manor. DaVinci Manor was at the corner of North Ave and Central where Walgreen now stands. Again there was very little interest in saving that building and our community lost a beautiful hall.
I have protested the state of the Central Ave bridge. I worked with Leola Spann and did many a smoke out including one in the 1500 block of North Lorel where drug paraphenalia layed on the ground. I have over the years here in Austin worked with the following groups at one point or another:
Northeast Austin Organization (Mary Volpe, Tom Hosea);
Northwest Austin Council;
Brotherhood of Black Men;
Westside Health Authority;
Every Block A Village;
25th District Housing Committee;
African American Employees at the Merchandise Mart (AAEMM);
Lafollette Park Advisory Council;
Garfield Park Conservatory Advisory Council;
Westside Executive Advisory Council;
Austin Landmark Cultural Center;
Concerned Citizens of East Garfield Park
and so many others that it gets hard to remember.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. -- Malcolm X