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.