Solidarity with Bulgarian Nurses

Letters to the Editor | October 31, 2005, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

I would like to bring to the public's attention the plight of a number of Bulgarian nurses who have been sentenced to death by our North African neighbour, Libya.

For those who are not fully abreast with this case it revolves around an outbreak of HIV infections in a large number of Libyan children who were under the care of the Bulgarian nurses. My heart goes out to these poor children and their families and I do hope that they are being provided with the best care possible. However, the crux of the argument is that it has been proven that these children were infected prior to the nurses' engagement at the hospital so it is physically impossible for them to have been responsible.

The Libyan government should not use them as scapegoats. Their execution would add an even more tragic twist to an already sad tale.

The matter has been advocated by our EU partners and by the US but no solution seems to be in sight. Bulgaria is a fellow European country and will soon join us in the EU.

Libya, on the other hand, is our close neighbour and Malta is one of the few countries that have had very good relations with Libya over the past few decades. Many a Maltese government and opposition delegation have been to Libya recently but no mention of this case seems to have been made.

I urge our government, notably our Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well the opposition, to make use of Malta's relationship in seeking to obtain the release of these Bulgarian nationals. Only then can our neighbour really make its case to take its rightful place within the international community.

Ambrose Muscat, Msida, Malta

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