EU condemns Libyan death sentence verdict to Bulgarian and Palestinian health professionalsComments Off on EU condemns Libyan death sentence verdict to Bulgarian and Palestinian health professionals

                 

On 19 December 2006, the Libyan Criminal Court has confirmed the death sentence on the five Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor for allegedly infecting Libyan children and mothers with HIV in the Benghazi hospital. Both the EU and the Finnish Presidency have condemned this verdict as ‘unacceptable’.
The German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced the incoming German EU presidency would push Libya to drop the sentences.
Background
The five nurses and one doctor were accused of infecting 426 Libyan children and mothers with HIV at a hospital in Benghazi in the 1990s, of which over 50 died in the meantime. The medical personnel, which deny the charges, is supported by a number of expert studies suggesting the infection was due to poor hygiene and present in the hospital before their arrival. The verdict comes after a seven months retrial following the Supreme Court’s decision to cancel a first death sentence verdict on 25 December 2005 and reopened the case in a lower court. The EU has repeatedly expressed serious reservations about the basis on which they were prosecuted and tried, their treatment in prison, and delays to the legal process.
Further Information:
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