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Bulgaria demands speed in nurses' appeal in Libya AIDS case

Bulgaria demands speed in nurses' appeal in Libya AIDS case

Bulgaria is insisting that an appeal by five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor sentenced to death in a high-profile AIDS case in Libya should be heard speedily, the foreign minister said Friday.
"We will follow and exhaust all means of defense that Libya's judiciary offers," Ivailo Kalfin told reporters. "This, however, should happen as quickly a possible."
A Libyan court earlier this month convicted the six of intentionally infecting more than 400 Libyan children with HIV and sentenced them to death, despite scientific evidence that the youngsters had the virus before the medical workers arrived in Libya.
The six _ who have been in Libyan custody for almost eight years _ now plan to appeal their convictions and sentences before Libya's Supreme Court.
Kalfin also defended Bulgarian society's strong reaction following the death sentences.
"We had every reason to believe that the Libyan court would take into account the evidence (of the nurses' innocence) but that did not happen," Kalfin said. "The reaction in Bulgaria was absolutely reasonable and (Libya) could hardly expect any other after such a verdict."
The death sentences triggered outrage among Bulgarian civil groups and media, with some even calling for economic sanctions or breaking off diplomatic relations with Libya.
Libya has submitted an official protest with Bulgaria's foreign ministry against these reactions, Kalfin said.
Kalfin also said Bulgaria would continue talks with Libya in the hope of finding a political solution to the case. These talks have been led by Libyan, Bulgarian, European and U.S. diplomats, but have not yet yielded a result.


Updated : 2021-05-07 05:11 GMT+08:00