Take Action to Free the Bulgarian Medics in Libya
Mr. Ben Bot, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; Dutch EU Presidency
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On 6 May 2004 five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were sentenced to death for consciously infecting more than 400 Libyan children with the AIDS virus.
There is overwhelming evidence that the children in the Libyan hospital were infected with the virus due to poor hygienical conditions and long before the sentenced medics arrived in Libya. However, the Libyan judicial authorities did not consider this evidence during the 5-year trial. If action is not taken, the five Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor will receive the death penalty through a fire squad.
The European Union, the US State Department, Amnesty International, various national governments and international organisations have already expressed serious concerns over the fairness of the trial and denounced the verdicts. Support has been expressed to ensure that the appealing of the sentence would lead to a quick release of these innocent people.
Nevertheless, a coordinated diplomatic action of the European Union will undoubtedly achieve a better result. We, the undersigned, appeal to you, Foreign Minister of the Netherlands and of the forthcoming Dutch presidency of the European Union, to urgently use all appropriate measures in order to effectively help the six sentenced medical professionals. The Netherlands is famous for its excellency in conflict mediation and diplomacy. Because of the seriousness of the matter, we ask that you consider this issue with highest priority.