Tripoli 6 home in Bulgaria today

The six health workers — five nurses and one physician — accused and convicted and sentenced to death for practices that passed HIV/AIDS to hundreds of Libyan children in a series of trials devoid of evidence, reason and justice — are home in Bulgaria today.

Tripoli Six home in Sofia, Bulgaria

The president of Bulgaria pardoned them of any wrongdoing. Details from the Associated Press via The New York Times:

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were pardoned by President Georgi Parvanov upon their arrival in Sofia on Tuesday after spending 8 1/2 years in prison in Libya.

The medics, who were sentenced to life in prison for allegedly contaminating children with the AIDS virus, arrived on a plane with French first lady Cecilia Sarkozy and the EU’s commissioner for foreign affairs, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

The six came down the steps from the airplane and were welcomed on the tarmac by family members who hugged them, one lifting the Palestinian doctor off the ground.

They were given bouquets of flowers, and Bulgaria’s president and prime minister were on hand, greeting the nurses and Sarkozy, who had been part of the delegation that negotiated the group’s return.

Their defense had been that the contamination of tools used in the hospital caused the infections before the six arrived to help out. Before the second trial, an international team of scientists tracked mutations and the evolution of the viruses in each victim, and produced DNA evidence that proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that the infections had occurred prior to any of the six arriving in Libya. The evidence was not granted credence by Libya’s courts, and the six were reconvicted and resentenced. Their release was negotiated only after European sources created a fund to handsomely compensate the victims’ families.

Thank you, readers, for your e-mails, letters and phone calls. In the U.S., it was the work of Nature writer Declan Butler, and bloggers like Revere at Effect Measure, and Tara C. Smith at Aetiology who carried the torch for justice. Give them some credit.

5 Responses to Tripoli 6 home in Bulgaria today

  1. LA GITANA says:

    What a shame to have to wait even more dead and wounded.

    Although Gaddafi was a child protected Western already should be considered a profugo of justice.

    Harm than good is showed who was the author of the fall of a plane full of people in the US.

    It catches my attention that not lead to international courts of justice.

    Then to remove this dictator, to stop its own autonomy to the country.


  2. thank you for to share in topic thank you for to share in topic


  3. laelaps says:

    This is definitely good news. Thanks for posting this, Ed.


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    That’s what I get for composing in a fog at 4:00 a.m., no? Thanks. Fixed.

    (Good heavens! Who in the world is Tara Reid?)


  5. Tara Reid? :D

    Much more credit goes to Nature’s Declan Butler and Revere of Effect Measure–they really spearheaded the campaign in the blogosphere, so kudos to them, and sighs of relief for the medical workers and their families.


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