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Libya Gives Another Sign Bulgarians Will Be Spared

Politics | March 8, 2007, Thursday // 00:00| Views: 2640 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Libya Gives Another Sign Bulgarians Will Be Spared Hristo Dunchev (L), member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, spoke about the likely outcome of the trial in Libya at a press conference in Sofia. Photo by Nadya Kotseva (Sofia Photo Agency)

The five Bulgarian nurses, who were sentenced to death in Libya for deliberately infecting children with HIV, will not be executed even if the supreme court upholds the verdict.

"The assurance was given March 2 by the Foreign Affairs Secretary at Libya's General People's Congress," Hristo Dunchev, member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences told journalists at a press conference on Thursday.

The high-ranking Libyan official singled out four main obstacles that stand in the way of bringing the trial to an end soon. These are the European parliamentarians' demand for the immediate release of the nurses, the "humiliating" trial against the Libyan officers, who the Bulgarians say tortured them into making confessions, the major campaign "You are not alone" and the "frozen" fund for aiding the sick children.

The initiative "You are not alone" marked the eighth anniversary since the unjust arrest of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor on charges of knowingly infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV. It was the highlight in a series of events to show unprecedented unity of the nation and support for the nurses. It united thousands of Bulgarians by wearing red, white and green ribbon - the country's national colours - in support for the five nurses in Libya.

Foreign experts have warned, however, that a spat between Libyan and Bulgaria and a mutual display of signs of hurt national pride are likely to deteriorate the plight of the medics.

At the beginning of this year the son of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi told 24 Hours daily that he guaranteed the women would be spared the execution. Saif Al IslamAl Qaddafi runs the Gaddafi Humanitarian Foundation, which has been monitoring the trial.
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