Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Libya Frees Medics

This has got to be one of history’s most bizarre news stories. For years, these Bulgarian (and one Palestinian) medics have been accused of deliberately infecting Libyan children with the AIDS virus at medical facilities.

Do you believe they did it? Most medical people are in the profession because they want to help. They have consistently denied their guilt, except under torture, and we all know that under torture people will say anything to make the pain stop.

I am betting the procedures in Libya were so primitive, the sterilization minimal to none, and the disease was transmitted by accident. Of course it would be too embarrassing for a nation to admit 1) that any Libyan had AIDS and 2) that poor hospital procedures and equipment caused the infection of children, so let’s accuse the guest workers from a poor country.

Here is a case where patient, persistent diplomacy prevailed. Although convicted in the Libyan courts, and although the guilty verdict was upheld by their courts, they were released to Bulgaria where they received an immediate pardon. Pardon my cynicism, but I don’t believe even the Libyans believed they were guilty. It became an embarassment all the way around.

HIV medics released to Bulgaria

The medics were greeted by tearful relatives and well-wishers
Six Bulgarian medics who were serving life sentences in Libya have arrived in Bulgaria following their release, ending their eight-year incarceration.
They were immediately pardoned by Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov.

The five nurses and a Palestinian-born doctor were convicted of deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV – charges they have always denied.

You can read the full story at BBC News.

July 24, 2007 - Posted by | Africa, Crime, Cultural, Health Issues, Hygiene, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Uncategorized


  1. 8 bloody years!!!

    can you imagine having to go thru all that for a day let alone 8 years?

    cynical overload coming:

    1- i make it a point not to believe the words of rulers who have a dedicated team of amazon women as his body guards,… seriously he makes all the evil bond villians look like amateurs. i do find him really ammuseing tho 😛

    2- apparently the only way out was for his son’s foundation to pay for all medical costs, and to let the “criminals” go as a gesture of “goodwill”. pffffft!

    but atleast libya has been making moves to appear friendlier than before,…. but i’m pretty sure it has alot more to do with oil than anything else since theyre sitting on quite a nice pool, but they dont have the technology to sell it properly.

    Comment by sknkwrkz | July 24, 2007 | Reply

  2. well, “patient, persistent diplomacy and a LOT of money. the EU has agreed to pay for the children’s medical treatment, I understand, and this past week Libya began pushing for political concessions.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | July 24, 2007 | Reply

  3. The deseas was transmited by accident???!!! 400 times!!!!.

    Oh please, if they are not guilty, they are in the least responsible for no less than 400 or more infections. And the reason they were sent there in the first place was to help raise medical standard and not keep their eyes closed in front of unsterilized needels.

    If something similar had happened (even by “accident”) to even one person in a wastern country, the doctor or nurse reponsible for it would have been litteraly crusified.

    Comment by Boris | July 24, 2007 | Reply

  4. Skunk, I agree, and I still can’t believe his honchos pulled off the bombing of Pan Am 103. He’s always been such a bad joke, such a parody. They just needed someone to blame.

    Little Diamond – whatever it takes. I just don’t believe these lowly medics would infect over 400 children. That takes a full systemic breakdown. And I am guessing that the evidence is in their favor – immediate full pardons?

    Boris – these were Bulgarians, probably earning more money than they had ever dreamed of – why on earth would they want to screw that up? It’s not what guest-workers do. “Guest-workers” send their money home, save their money so that their children will have a better life, and thank God for the opportunity. These are not people who would deliberately infect CHILDREN. No one in international circles believes they are guilty. Why do you?

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 24, 2007 | Reply

  5. Well who knows what really happened? Of course the Libyans are run by an insane idiot.

    But it might have been some black ops, are they really nurses? 😛

    8 years = overkill.

    Comment by Я | July 25, 2007 | Reply

  6. Bulgarian black ops? Hmmmmmmm . . . . . . .;-)

    It got a lot of coverage on NPR yesterday. Most of the world seems to think this was a big face-saving so that Libya doesn’t have to admit that they have AIDS virus in Libya and that their hospitals were so filled with the infestion, and that the hospital standards were so low that it was transmitted so easily.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 25, 2007 | Reply

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