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British woman detained in Egypt over painkillers 'could face death penalty'

Laura Plummer says the tramadol and Naproxen pills were for her husband [Getty illustrative image]

Date of publication: 4 November, 2017

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The family of British citizen Laura Plummer have raised concerns for her welfare amid her ongoing detention in Egypt over 'drug trafficking'.

A British woman detained by Egyptian authorities after she flew to Egypt carrying painkillers could face a number of harsh punishments, including the death penalty, a lawyer has said.

Laura Plummer, from the northern British city of Hull, was arrested in Egypt on October 9 after carrying Naproxen and tramadol pills in her luggage.

Although considered a legal but potent painkiller in Britain, Tramadol is banned in Egypt and is sometimes used as a substitute for heroin.

Plummer, 33, said the pills were for her husband, who lives in Egypt and suffers from back pains.

Authorities reportedly accused her of "drug trafficking and have held her in a 15ft by 15ft cell with 25 other women, her brother James Plummer said.

According to the British newspaper, Plummer signed a 38-page statement written in Arabic, thinking that it would result in her release.

Legal advisers who have spoken to her family in England have said that she could be jailed for up to 25 years, according to Mr Plummer. One lawyer reportedly said that the death penalty could also be considered in her case.

"It's just blown out of proportion completely," Mr Plummer told the Press Association.

Since her detention began, Plummer has received two visits from her mother and sisters, who say that her condition has deteriorated significantly.

"They say she's unrecognisable," said Mr Plummer. "When they seen her, she's like a zombie, they said."

He added that his sister had also started to suffer hair loss from the stress caused by her detention.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office have confirmed that they are "supporting a British woman and her family following her detention in Egypt."

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