Wednesday, July 18, 2007

GREAT News: Tripoli Six death sentences voided, and they'll soon to be freed!

News Bulgaria is reporting that the release of the Tripoli Six is now assured:
Libyan Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) changed the death sentence of the Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor to a life one....

Libya and Bulgaria have an agreement for exchange of prisoners, which now will allow for a procedure for the medics to be transferred to Bulgaria to start.
Spiegel Online had previously reported that:
Libya has started distributing money to the families of hundreds of children infected with HIV, as part of a deal which could see the release of the six foreign medics sentenced to death on charges of deliberately infecting them. Internationally, the case has been criticized as a show trial.
Show trial, indeed. And the process of freeing them is, itself, a bizarre Kabuki dance. As Reuters explains:
The ruling, following a payment of $1 million each to 460 HIV victims' families, fell short of freeing the medics and removing an obstacle to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's efforts to end three decades of diplomatic isolation.

But, under a 1984 prisoner exchange agreement with Libya, the North African country can transfer the six workers to Bulgaria, where government officials have said they could be pardoned by the Balkan state's president, Georgi Parvanov.
As nyceve wrote, last September:
In a nutshell, and I mean a true nutshell, for those of you not familiar, the case involves five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor who have been wrongfully charged for allegedly infecting children with HIV. They were tortured and forced to sign "confessions" written in Arabic they did not understand now they are awaiting execution by firing squad in Libya . In fact, the poor hygiene, dirty needles and bad practices in the hospital are to blame.
It's not often, these days, that such horrible stories have relatively happy endings. It looks like the six medics will, finally, soon be returning to their homes!

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