Bulgarian Medics Get Social Security Benefits for Time Spent in Libya Prison

Society | July 17, 2008, Thursday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgarian Medics to Get Social Security Benefits for Time Spent in Prison: Bulgarian Medics Get Social Security Benefits for Time Spent in Libya Prison A year after they were released in Bulgaria, the seven Bulgarian medics, who spent eight years in Libyan jail, were granted social security benefits for their time in captivity. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

Bulgaria's Council of Minister approved Thursday a draft bill to provide social security and health benefits to the five nurse, and two doctors, for the eight years that they spent in prison in Libya on charges of infecting 400 children with HIV.

Thus, the time that the five Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor Ashraf, who was granted Bulgarian citizenship later, spent in captivity would be considered years of service, and will be counted towards their retirement pensions.

The same applies to the Bulgarian doctor Zdravko Ivanov, who was acquitted and released from jail after the first five years, but was not allowed to leave Libya until the nurses were officially transferred to Bulgaria.

The social security and health benefits will be calculated on the basis of the minimum monthly wage in Bulgaria for the respective period.

The Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy Lazar Lazarov announced that the decision to grant the medics social security and health benefits came one year after their release because of administrative drawbacks.

He reminded that after their pardoning by the President Parvanov, the nurses have received a government aid of BGN 10 000 per person, plus additional BGN 1000 for emergency expenditures.

Each one of the medics was also supposed to receive one apartment in Sofia from the mobile phone operator Mtel.

A year later, however, none of them has been able to enter their new homes because it appeared that the apartments have not been fully constructed yet, and that they do not have electricity and running water.
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