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Tuesday, December 19th 2006

Medics To Be Executed

Libya has sentenced to death Bulgarian (and a Palestinian) medics for infecting children with HIV.

A court on Tuesday convicted five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor of deliberately infecting 400 children with the HIV virus and condemned them to death, provoking shouts of approval from the children’s relatives.

The presiding judge, Mahmoud Hawissa, took only seven minutes to confirm the presence of the accused — who all answered “yes” in Arabic — and read out his verdict and sentence in the longest and most politicized court process in modern Libyan history.

An international legal observer, Francois Cantier of Lawyers Without Borders, promptly criticised the retrial for failing to admit enough scientific evidence. Research published this month said samples from the infected children showed their viruses were contracted before the six defendants started working at the hospital in question.

“We need scientific evidence. It is a medical issue, not only a judicial one,” Cantier said at the court after the verdict.

What a bunch of moronic hicks. This is the best line, concerning evidence published in Nature dating the infection (I’ll give you one guess whether the children were infected before or after the medics arrived in Libya),

Idriss Lagha, the president of a group representing the victims, rejected the Nature article, telling a press conference in London on Monday that the nurses had infected the children with a “genetically engineered” virus. He accused them as doing so for research on behalf of foreign intelligence agencies.

It is difficult to judge an entire people from a slice, especially a slice biased through the lens of western media. But seriously, this isn’t some back water trial. This has involved the length of the government, all the way to Qaddafi.

And yet they’re running around sentencing people based solely on conjecture.

Examples of broad public support for the death sentence, a judge who couldn’t even define the word virus for you, and basically a show trial run by a bunch of ignorant hicks. If these were U.S. health care workers we should just bomb the entire country, without discretion…they’re already living in the stone age, how far can we really set them back.