Libya group condemns Bulgaria pardon of HIV medics Michael Sung at 2:28 PM ET
[JURIST] The Libyan Association for the Families of HIV-Infected Children condemned Bulgaria's pardoning and release of six foreign medics [BBC Q&A; JURIST news archive] Wednesday, demanding that the Libyan government sever diplomatic relations with Bulgaria and deport all Bulgarians residing in Libya. The medics - five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor - were released by Libyan authorities on Tuesday under the pretense that they would serve their life sentences [JURIST reports] in Bulgaria. Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov [official profile] promptly issued a presidential pardon for the six medics upon their arrival in Bulgaria. EU officials secured the transfer after entering an agreement with Libya to normalize and develop closer political and economic ties and increase medical and infrastructure aid. AP has more.
Also Wednesday, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) [official website] EU representative Antoine Madelin urged the European Union to pressure Libya to improve its human rights and ban the use of torture. Madelin specifically called for the EU to obtain approval for international observers to inspect Libyan prisons. Four of the six medics, all of whom have consistently maintained their innocence, have said they were forced to confess after enduring torture [HRW report], including beatings, electronic shock, and sexual assault by Libyan authorities. AFP has more.
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