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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…

Irish juvenile Ibrahim Halawa marks 1000 days facing death penalty in Egypt

Egypt protests
An Irish student who was arrested in the wake of protests in Egypt marks 1000 days of detention facing a potential death sentence.

Ibrahim Halawa faces the death penalty despite having been a juvenile - aged just 17 - at the time of his arrest in August 2013. He is being subjected to an ongoing mass trial alongside hundreds of adults, which has been delayed on multiple occasions.

Following his arrest, the Egyptian police beat Ibrahim and denied him medical treatment. He has since been subjected to periods of solitary confinement in cells with no light or toilet.

Despite the fact that Ibrahim was a juvenile when he was arrested he has been held in adult prisons and is being tried by adult courts. International human rights organisation Reprieve has discovered that hundreds of children - including some as young as 6 - were arrested in the same breakup of protests as Ibrahim. Efforts to have Ibrahim's case transferred to a juvenile court have been rejected.

The 493 defendants in Ibrahim's mass trial are charged with attending an illegal protest during which protesters allegedly caused deaths and criminal damage. They are being held jointly responsible for these offences, despite a lack of specific evidence linking the vast majority of them to these crimes.

Commenting, Harriet McCulloch, Deputy Director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, which is assisting Ibrahim, said:

"Ibrahim has now suffered 1000 days of appalling mistreatment in violation of both international and Egyptian law. It is a scandal that the Egyptian authorities continue to seek the death penalty for Ibrahim despite his having been a child at the time of his arrest. The Egyptian authorities must immediately call an end to this mass trial and others like it and release Ibrahim and the hundreds of others like him who have been illegally detained for so long."

Source: reprieve.org, May 12, 2016

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