Egypt Grants Early Release of British Woman Jailed for Opioid Painkiller

Published January 29th, 2019 - 09:42 GMT

Egypt has granted early release for a British woman jailed for possession of the opioid painkiller tramadol.

Laura Plummer, 34, had served 13 months of a three-year prison sentence handed to her in December 2017 after she was stopped at Hurghada airport with 290 tramadol tablets in her suitcase.

Tramadol, which is legal in Britain, is banned in Egypt due to its use as an alternative to Heroin.

Plummer's family have said preparations are being made to repatriate the former shop worker from England's northern city of Hull.

"I'm so happy to be going home," Plummer told Britain's Sun newspaper.


"I just wish I wasn't being deported. But I promise you I'll never set foot in an airport again," she added.

Plummer, who is married to an Egyptian citizen, maintained that she was unaware of Egypt's laws on the prescription drug, saying that her partner required them to ease his chronic back pain.

The 34-year-old had initially faced a heavier charge of drug trafficking, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 25 years or the death penalty. Plummer later received her three-year sentence for possession of a controlled substance.

The Plummer family were left disappointed last January, when false reports spread that she had been pardoned on the anniversary of Egypt's 2011 revolution. An appeal in September was also rejected by Egyptian authorities.

Plummer was among 6,925 prisoners granted early release by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the anniversary of the January 25 revolution.

She was reportedly suicidal due to the cramped and squalid conditions at the prison in Cairo, where she was held.

"Laura Plummer's situation highlights the need for people to consider where they are travelling – in many cases the local laws and customs might be different from what people expect," a spokesperson for Prisoners Abroad, a UK-based charity that works with those affected by imprisonment overseas, told The New Arab. "The impact of this imprisonment can be severe for both the prisoner and their family."

Rights groups have persistently criticised the treatment of prisoners in Egypt, where an estimated 60,000 people are locked up for political reasons.

President Sisi claimed in an interview earlier this year that there were no political prisoners in Egypt.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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