Libyan Court Sentences Bulgarian Health Care Workers to Death for Allegedly Infecting Libyan Children With HIV
May 6, 2004
A five-judge panel of a Libyan court on Thursday sentenced to death by firing squad six Bulgarian health care workers and a Palestinian doctor accused of deliberately infecting more than 400 children with HIV through contaminated blood products, Reuters reports (Sarrar, Reuters, 5/6). Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi initially accused the health workers of taking orders from the CIA and the Israeli secret service to kill Libyan children in order to destabilize the country. However, some European governments and human rights groups say that the Libyan Health Ministry failed to screen blood products adequately and allowed poor sterilization practices at Al Fateh Children's Hospital in Benghazi, where the children were infected. The health care workers have been detained in Libya since early 1999 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/29). Under Libyan law, people sentenced to death have an automatic right to appeal (Al-Deeb, AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/6). "The verdict not only will be appealed, but we will make every possible effort to declare the medics not guilty," Bulgarian government spokesperson Dimitar Tsonev said (Al-Deeb, Associated Press, 5/6).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
E.U. Asks Libyan Leader Kadafi to Release Bulgarian Health Care Workers on Trial for Allegedly Infecting Children With HIV
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