Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Human Rights Nightmare
Five Bulgarian nurses and a doctor born in Egypt but living in Libya have been sentenced to death for a second time by a Libyan court. The trial alleges that the nurses and doctor infected over 400 children with HIV. Despite testimony by Dr. Luc Montagnier, the researcher who originally found the virus showing that the epidemic began before these nurses even arrived in Libya, they have been kept in a Libyan prison for seven years.

During their imprisonment, the defendants were tortured daily for the first three months of their captivity in efforts to elicit confessions -- torture that included electric shocks, being threatened by barking dogs, falaqa (beatings on the sole of the feet), and in the case of two nurses, rape, according to Amnesty International.

The first time the medics saw a lawyer was February 2000, after their trial had already opened.

Kristiana Malinova Valcheva
Nasya Stojcheva Nenova
Valentina Manolova Siropulo
Valya Georgieva Chervenyashka
Snezhanka Ivanova Dimitrova and
Dr. Ashraf Ahmad Jum'a

have been sentenced to death. Please write your senators and cause an uprising about this human rights nightmare.

Here is my letter:

Dear Senator Boxer:

Six medics have been sentenced to death in Libya for a crime they could not have committed. Kristiana Malinova Valcheva, Nasya Stojcheva Nenova, Valentina Manolova Siropulo, Valya Georgieva Chervenyashka, Snezhanka Ivanova Dimitrova and Dr. Ashraf Ahmad Jum'a are being held and tortured for allegedly infecting hundreds of children with HIV. They have all been tortured and at least two of the women have been raped.
This is a human rights outrage. Please condemn these acts by the Libyan justice system and try to do everything that is in the power of the United States Senate to assist the Bulgarian government in releasing these six individuals.
Thank you for your time.

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Blogger Annika said...

I wrote to Barbara Boxer too. Thanks for printing the letter you sent -- I totally cribbed off it.

Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

I have read this story from the BBC - apparently the Libyian government is asking for "compensation" of 10 million euros for each of the 400 patients in exchange for commuting the death sentence - according to the BBC. This is clearly a hate crime (perhaps now with greed/exploitation as a factor) by a government - much like the previous health minister of South Africa telling people to have sex with virgins.

Thank you for the call to action - I have used the new #10 downing street petition system to create an online petition for the British Government to remove thier partnership of understanding (which is to allow goods and services to be traded) from Libya over this - once it is approved, I will post the link.

Blogger Susan said...

The senators in NY have heard from me! Thanks for bringing it to my attention

Blogger Mitko Denev said...

Thank you very much for supporting the Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor!

It is because of people like you that the EU, USA and Bulgaria have taken actions, so that now the medics are back in safety. Thank you so much!

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