Bulgarian Caricatures Enrage Libya

Politics | May 3, 2006, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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Cartoons mocking Libya's leader and the justice system, published by a Bulgarian daily Wednesday, seemed to have angered Tripoli.

One of the caricatures shows Muammar Qaddafi playing on a chessboard with "figures" that are actually Bulgaria's five jailed nurses.

In another picture, the colonel is a devil over a boiling cauldron with the women inside, and a cartoon shows Libyan judges with condoms pulled over their faces.

In a note sent to Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry Tripoli said they were offended and disappointed, reports said citing officials.

The twelve caricatures were drawn by eminent Bulgarian cartoonists, and published in Novinar daily.

The aim was to focus attention on the issue with the five women, jailed in Libya seven years ago.

They were tried for deliberately causing a HIV epidemic at the Benghazi paediatric hospital, and sentenced to death two years ago.

A higher court then ordered retrial for the nurses, who plead not guilty and say Libyan officers tortured them in prison.

Both Bulgarian and international organizations and top diplomats have vowed support for the women, and called on Tripoli to free them.

In the meantime concerns for the health of the Bulgarians have been mounting, with traditional postponements of court sessions causing the nerve-wrecking trial to linger.
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