FEATURED POST

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Image
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…

Senegalese maid in Saudi Arabia could face death penalty after murder charge

DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Human rights activists on Thursday demanded clemency for a Senegalese maid who was trafficked to Saudi Arabia and may face the death penalty after being charged with killing her employer.

Mbayang Diop, 22, was arrested in June, weeks after arriving in the world's largest oil exporter, and accused of stabbing her employer to death in the capital of Riyadh, rights groups said.

Senegalese civil society groups say Diop may have killed the woman she worked for in self-defense after a dispute, and that the Saudi authorities had not properly investigated the case.

On Wednesday, the Senegalese ambassador to Saudi Arabia visited Diop in prison in the eastern city of Dammam to provide assistance, Senegal's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Saudi embassy in Dakar was not immediately available to comment on the case.

Diop left Dakar without telling her family, having been approached and offered work as a maid, said her brother, Fallou.

"If she had consulted us, we would have told her not to go," he said, explaining how other women from their neighborhood in Dakar had also moved to Saudi Arabia with the promise of work.

"She said she couldn't rest - that the work was very hard."

Diop, who is in jail awaiting trial, is one of a growing number of Senegalese women heading to the Middle East for domestic work, lured by the prospect of a salary and a chance to escape joblessness at home, according to Amnesty International.

But many have their passports confiscated by their employers and face abuse, said Amnesty's regional director Alioune Tine.

"These women are of victims of violence and rape ... they are at the mercy of their employer, they are the property of their employer," Tine told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"They are the victims of a system of modern slavery."

CRACKDOWN

Diop has not yet seen a lawyer, appeared in court or entered a plea to the charge of murder, which is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, said Bara Gaye, the mayor of Yeumbeul, a suburb on the outskirts of Dakar that is home to Diop's family.

Senegal's foreign minister Mankeur Ndiaye described Diop last week as "a victim like many others", and said the West African nation's government would crack down on traffickers.

Traditionally, domestic workers in the Gulf have come from Asia but the number of African migrants is increasing, driven by the lack of opportunities at home, human rights activists say.

Women are often trafficked to Saudi Arabia, one of the world's largest employers of domestic workers, and forced into domestic servitude, said the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, which grades countries on their anti-slavery efforts.

Civil society groups and protesters this week gathered in central Dakar to demand clemency for Diop.

Boubacar Seye, head of migrant rights group Horizon Sans Frontieres, called for an investigation into the case, saying none had taken place so far.

"Everyone knows the conditions these women live in - they're like slaves," said Iba Sarr of the human rights group Raddho, urging the Senegalese authorities to pursue the case.

Source: Reuters, August 4, 2016

⚑ | Report an error, an omission; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; send a submission; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running!


"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Nevada law says chief medical officer must advise on executions despite ethical clash

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Iran: Woman Asylum Seeker Lashed 80 Times After Being Deported From Norway

Iran: Three Hand Amputations, Four Hangings Carried Out in Qom

Poorly executed - Indiana inmate challenges state's lethal cocktail change

Iran: More Public Executions, Prisoner Hanged While Crowd Watched

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Iran: Three executions carried out, two in front of large crowds

Arkansas death-row inmate tries to drop appeal blocking execution; request denied

Patrick Henry, French child murderer in famous case, to be released