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…

Saudi Arabia rejects ‘interference in domestic affairs' over al-Nimr death sentence

Ali al-Nimr
Ali al-Nimr
Diplomat says calls are impingement on judicial independence, impartiality

Manama: Saudi Arabia has dismissed remarks on its judicial system, saying that they amounted to interference in its domestic affairs and impingement on its sovereignty.

Reacting to pressure to release Ali Al Nimr, a Saudi sentenced to death for “acts linked to terror”, the Saudi embassy in London said in a statement issued on Wednesday that “the judiciary is an independent body and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects any form of interference in its internal affairs and any impingement on its sovereignty or the independence and impartiality of its judiciary”.

Ali Nimr was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to death in 2014. Last month, the sentence was upheld by the higher court, and the decision prompted calls to release him.

However, Saudi Arabia rejected the calls as “interference in its domestic affairs”.

In Italy where Saudi Arabia’s participation as a guest of honour at the 2016 Turin International Book Fair was dropped on Tuesday, Saudi Ambassador Rayed Krimly called on Italians not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the kingdom and not to give them lessons in human rights.

“My friends, the era of European imperialism has ended long ago,” the ambassador wrote in a message posted in Italian on the embassy website. “The exchanges of mutual benefits are not based on the principle that a party dictates ...[to] another how [to] carry out its activities. Do not confuse dialogue, which necessarily implies the existence of differences, with monologue.

“Our laws, our political and judicial institutions, and our policies are being modernised under a pace and manner in keeping with the needs and demands of our people. They are not designed to meet the latest whims of others. You may not like some aspects of our values, culture or laws [see related content below], but these belong to us and not to you. Moreover, we may not like some aspects of the Italian culture, politics or legal system, but we do not give you lessons on how to conduct your own business,” he wrote.

Saudi Arabia is a proudly independent country, and has never been ruled by colonial powers, he added.

“It is not our custom to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, and certainly we do not tolerate that others try to interfere in ours,” the ambassador wrote.

In a report published by Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Krimly called “those who show particular interest in human rights to deepen their knowledge of particular cases before speaking out about them”.

Source: Gulf News, October 8, 2015
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