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Statement
from
International AIDS Society
Libyan Death Sentence Upheld


Geneva, Switzerland (12 July 2007) - The International AIDS Society (IAS), which represents more than 11,000 health care workers in over 170 countries, has reacted with shock and dismay at yesterday's judgment by Libyan courts, which upholds the death sentences imposed on five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor in relation to the spread of HIV at Benghazi Hospital.

IAS President, Dr Pedro Cahn pointed to evidence presented, which confirmed that the doctor and nurses were not responsible for the spread of HIV at Benghazi Hospital, and said this case represented a failure of the Libyan justice system.

"Both Luc Montagnier, the co-discoverer of HIV, and Vittorio Colizzi of Rome University have testified that the HIV infections pre-dated the defendants' arrival at the hospital. In addition, a study of the children's blood conducted by Oxford University has shown that the sub-type of HIV involved was present in the blood of patients long before the arrival of the defendants. However, this testimony was disregarded during the trial", said Dr Cahn.

Dr Cahn said he continued to hold out hope that the reported negotiations between the European Union and the Libyan government would result in the release of these health workers.

It was alleged that these health workers deliberately spread HIV amongst 426 children in the hospital, and caused the subsequent death of 52 of these children.


Ends

 

Issued by: Karen Bennett
International AIDS Society
Email: Karen.bennett@iasociety.org
Tel: +41 22 710 0832



"Reproduced with permission - International AIDS Society"

International AIDS Society
International AIDS Society



 

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