Bulgaria Refuses Libya Request to Make Payment for Amnesty of Health Care Workers Accused of Infecting Children With HIV
August 19, 2005
The Bulgarian government has rejected demands from the Libyan government that it negotiate a "diya," or blood money payment, to win amnesty for five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician sentenced to death for allegedly infecting 400 children with HIV, BBC News reports (BBC News, 8/18). Under Islamic law, the payment can be made to victims in murder cases to prevent a death sentence. Mohammed al-Zaway, Libya's ambassador to Britain, said on Wednesday after talks with U.S. and British officials in Tripoli, Libya, "An agreement with the families of the children would reflect positively on the case, according to Islamic law," adding, "The amount that the Bulgarian government agrees on with the family is not an issue for [the government]. The important thing is the families' agreement." He told the Associated Press, "Libya will not accept pressure or blackmail. The issue is clear and the parties (in the dispute) are known, and they can reach an understanding. ... But we will not accept arrogant language from the West" (El-Deeb, AP/Arizona Republic, 8/18). However, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin said that paying any compensation to the families would be to accept the workers' guilt, which the country refuses to do (BBC News, 8/18). "There is evidence, including the opinions of world experts, which do not confirm the guilt of the Bulgarian nurses," Kalfin said, adding, "There are no grounds for Bulgaria to enter talks for compensation." He said that the country's new Socialist-led government will soon call for new measures with assistance from the U.S. and the European Union to solve the disagreement (Sarrar, Reuters UK, 8/18).
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.
Bulgaria Set to Provide Equipment, Medicine to Libya in Effort to Free Health Workers Accused of Infecting Children With HIV
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