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Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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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…

European Parliament condemns death penalty, torture in Bahrain

The European Parliament has condemned the use of torture and the death penalty in Bahrain, demanding the release of a man sentenced to death after allegedly confessing under torture.

In a resolution passed on Thursday, the body called on Bahraini ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to pardon 32-year-old airport guard Mohammed Ramadan.

Ramadan was arrested on 18 February 2014 - allegedly without a warrant - on suspicion of involvement in a bombing that killed a member of the security forces 4 days earlier.

Ramadan and Husain Ali Mossa, who had been arrested previously, reported that they were tortured into confessing to the crime, and later retracted their confessions and complained of having been coerced.

Despite this, no investigation was launched and the pair were sentenced to death in December 2014.

The case has already been highlighted by five UN human rights experts, who in August 2014 expressed their concerns over the fairness of the trial to the Bahraini government.

A resolution was co-authored by Scottish MEP Alyn Smith, who called it "a strong message to our friends in Bahrain that we are confident Bahrain can move in the right direction.

"Today, the Parliament firmly condemned the continuing use of torture by the security forces against prisoners and the use of Bahrain's anti-terrorism laws to punish citizens for their political beliefs."

The resolution has been welcomed by Bahraini human rights organisations, who warned on Thursday that Ramadan had exhausted all legal avenues of appeal and stands at risk of imminent execution.

Source: middleeasteye.net, Feb. 4, 2016

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