British Woman Could Face Death Penalty In Egypt Over Painkillers

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“She doesn't even look like herself. She couldn't speak properly and was wearing the clothes she traveled in.”

A British woman was arrested at an Egyptian airport after authorities found prescription painkillers in her suitcase.

Laura Plummer from Hull, United Kingdom, was traveling to meet her husband of four years, Omar Caboo, who is Egyptian. She arrested at Hurghada Airport after authorities found out she was carrying tramadol and naproxen in her luggage.

The prescription drugs were reportedly for Caboo, who suffers from severe back pain.

After the arrest, Plummer signed a 38-page statement in Arabic that she thought would result in her being able to leave the airport, but instead she was transfered to a 15-ft by 15-ft cell with 25 other women and has been there for nearly a month now.

It is believed Plummer is being held on suspicion of drug trafficking and could face up to 25 years in jail or even death penalty.

Tramadol is legal in Britain, although users must have a prescription due to its high potency, but it is illegal in Egypt and is known to be used as a heroin substitute.

“It’s just blown out of proportion completely. She’s so by the book, so routine, she just likes her own home comforts, watches 'Emmerdale' every night or things like that, going to bed at nine o’clock every night,” said her brother, James Plummer.

Her mother and sisters have traveled to Egypt to visit Laura since her arrest on Oct. 9.

“They say she’s unrecognizable,” her brother continued. “When they seen her, she’s like a zombie, they said.”

He said her hair is starting to fall out due to stress and he voiced concerns about how she will cope.

"I don't think she's tough enough to survive it," he added. "She has a phobia of using anybody else's toilet, so let alone sharing a toilet and a floor with everybody else. That will be awful for her, it'll be traumatizing."

He further said the family feels "helpless" due to being in a different country.

"It's awful for Laura ... she's not a tough person at all," James said. "She's only small."

Her sister Jayne Synclair, 40, said, “She can't stay in there any longer or she will be murdered or kill herself.”

"We are quite a glamorous family and she looked absolutely shocking. Her hair has fallen out and she has a really bad ear infection which has caused her whole face and neck to swell. She doesn't even look like herself. She couldn't speak properly and was wearing the clothes she traveled in,” she added.

The British woman is due back in court for her third hearing next week.

A U.K. foreign office spokesman said: “We are supporting a British woman and her family following her detention in Egypt.”

Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Stephen Hird

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