Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Hammond must use Saudi visit to call for an end to abuses - Reprieve

The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, has today announced that he has traveled to Saudi Arabia, at the start of a tour of several Gulf countries.

His visit comes amid concerns for the fate of juveniles Ali al-Nimr and Dawoud al-Marhoon, who are reported to be awaiting execution in solitary confinement; as well as for British citizen Karl Andree and blogger Raif Badawi, who have both been sentenced to 'lashes'.

Yesterday, Ali's father Mohammed al-Nimr - who has made repeated public appeals to the Saudi authorities to save his son's life - was arrested and detained for several hours on unclear charges. This morning, Mr Badawi's wife said she has been told his flogging will resume 'soon'. 

Last week, Mr Hammond told MPs that he 'did not expect' the sentences to be carried out on Ali al-Nimr and Karl Andree.

Commenting, Kate Higham, a caseworker at human rights organization Reprieve, said: “Despite the Foreign Secretary’s hint last week that he ‘does not expect’ the Saudis to carry out hideous punishments on Ali al-Nimr and Karl Andree, it appears these assurances are shaky at best. There are still grave fears for Ali and the other Saudi juveniles facing execution – while Ali’s father was also yesterday detained after speaking out to save his son’s life. The UK is one of Saudi Arabia’s closest allies – Philip Hammond must use his visit to demand an end to these terrible abuses.”
  • Further detail on Ali al-Nimr's case can be found here.
  • Mr Hammond's announcement was made on Twitter, here.
  • Details of Mr Hammond's comments to Parliament are here.
  • The comments by Raif Badawi's wife can be seen here.
Source: Reprieve, October 28, 2015

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