LIBYA: Gaddafi regime infected children with AIDS - former Libyan justice minister

Summary: The Gaddafi regime is responsible for deliberately infecting more than 400 children with AIDS in the late 1990s, and not Bulgarian doctors who ended up spending more than eight years in prison, as was initially thought.

[24 February 2011] - Not the Bulgarian medics, but the regime of Muammar Gaddafi was responsible for infecting more than 400 children with AIDS, Mustafa Mohamed Abud Al Jeleil, formerly Gaddafi's minister of justice, told  Al Jazeera, cited by on February 24 2011.

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil made the statement live over the phone to Al Jazeera. Mustafa Abdel-Jalil said that the predicament involving the Bulgarian medics was just one of the "few" serious crimes perpetrated by Gaddafi's regime against his own people.

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil has been noted in news media for his stance against various human rights violations in that country.

With his revelations, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil absolved all blame from the Bulgarian medics who were stigmatised and hated in Libya for years, and who had received death sentences for the infection of 400 children.

"Finally the truth has come out. We have been fighting for this for years," the Bulgarian medics' lawyer, Plamen Yalnuzov said, cited by Investor.

The six Bulgarian medics were released on July 24 2007, after they had spent more than eight years in a Libyan prison.

The medics were arrested in 1999 and accused of deliberately infecting more than 400 children with HIV in a hospital in the Libyan town of Benghazi. Despite several reports by international experts, stating that the infection resulted from poor hygiene in the hospital, the medics were sentenced to death twice.

In July 2007, after the active intervention of the international community, the sentence of the medics was commuted to life imprisonment. On July 24, through a prisoner transfer agreement, they returned to Bulgaria aboard a French government aircraft, accompanied by France's then-first lady Cecilia Sarkozy. Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov pardoned the medics on their arrival at the airport.


Further Information:

pdf: The Sofia Echo


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