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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…

New Crown Prince must prove this is more than just Saudi spin

Mohammed bin Salman
Mohammed bin Salman is the new crown prince and heir to the Saudi throne.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia has appointed his son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince and heir to the throne in an attempt to deflect criticism of his increasingly brutal regime.

The new crown prince has repeatedly defended the abuses of his father, including the mass execution of 47 people in January 2016.

The Crown Prince, then Minister of Defence, claimed that all those killed were “terrorists” who were executed following fair trials. In fact, they included people arrested for simply attending a peaceful protest and convicted on the basis of false confessions extracted through torture. Those killed included Ali al-Ribh, who was just 17 at the time of his execution.

There is now great concern about three young pro-democracy protestors who could be executed at any moment on King Salman’s orders. Ali al-Nimr, Dawoud al-Marhoon and Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher were all juveniles when arrested.

Prince Mohammed record has also come under fire for presiding over the Saudi intervention in Yemen as Defence Minister since 2015.

Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve, said: “This is an attempt by an ageing dictator to fool the world into believing he is prepared to change. The reality is Prince Mohammed has stood alongside and publically defended the King as young men have been tortured and executed for peacefully protesting while he has led the internationally condemned intervention in Yemen. Change will only come if the Crown Prince puts an end to the execution of juveniles, otherwise this is little more than routine spin to distract from the gravest human rights abuses.”

Price Mohammed defended the mass executions of 47 people in 2016 in an interview with the Economist.

➤ More about the cases of Ali al-Nimr, Dawoud al-Marhoon and Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher, can be found here.

Source: Reprieve, June 21, 2017

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