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This brief post is to cover the editorial today in the NY Times:
A Medical-Legal Travesty in Libya

Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor are facing the death penalty in Libya based on preposterous charges that they deliberately infected hundreds of children with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. This looming miscarriage of justice demands a strong warning to the Libyan leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi, that his efforts to join the ranks of peaceable nations will suffer if the medical workers are made the scapegoats for the failure of Libya's own health system.

Daily Kos posts are here and here. Blog posts, and a chronicle of all the science bodies who have gotten involved from all over are here at Declan Butler's blog. It's nice to know the blogs are doing their part, small though that part may be. Perhaps what we can do best is push the media a little.

The trial resumes 10/31 and time is short. We will keep you updated. For those that wish to help, see The Tripoli Six - Do Something About It. You can see the full length documentary, Injection online for free (trailer here, complete streaming video here).

And, thanks.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Oct 14, 2006 at 07:06 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    Have Bush and Condi done anything about this, what with their friendlier relations with Libya?

    (When last I read about this, the problem was that Libyan leaders were afraid to do anything because the populace believes the six are guilty.)

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Sat Oct 14, 2006 at 07:12:03 AM PDT

    •  Condi as far as we know had a conversation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with Libya after the blog campaign started. That's all we know.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Oct 14, 2006 at 07:13:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Congress and White House! (0+ / 0-)

    What right do we--as Ameicans--have to chide anyone about human rights or justice any longer?  The Congress and White House have basically turned us into hypocrites every time we mention these democratic values.  We need to fix our own flawed justice system first!

    •  that's why I didn't say anything about torture (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies

      In the letter I wrote I found myself having to take out the language accusing them of extracting the confessions via torture. Augh!! But I think we can still implore the Libyan government to do the right thing, just as we must keep speaking out to our own government.  It's all too sad though that as Americans it is that much less possible to claim the high moral territory.

  •  Thank you for keeping this on the front page. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I first read about it at Effect Measure; nice to see the MSM may be picking up on it.

    "Never argue with idiots. They'll take you down to their level then beat you with experience." - Tumblebugs

    by Pandora on Sat Oct 14, 2006 at 07:20:38 AM PDT

  •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

    I don't recall ever seeing a front page story with so little discussion after having been up for two hours.  As I write this, there are only five comments, mine being the sixth.

    Not that I have anything brilliant to add.  I just hope there's no correlation between amount of discussion here and amount of activity on behalf of these people.

  •  thank you for posting this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies

    I reviewed a lot of the documents and think it's critical to emphasize that that we take seriously the infections that were caused, but that evidence strongly shows these health care workers are innocent of what they are accused of. Here is my letter (sending to Libyan embassy officials and copying to my senators and rep).

    I was disturbed to hear about the conviction of six medical professionals on charges they had deliberately infected more than 400 Libyan children with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. After looking into the scientific review conducted on this matter by Drs. Montagnier and Colizzi and commissioned by your government, I am convinced that the individuals concerned, five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician, are innocent of these serious charges. The cluster of HIV and HCV infection among children treated at Al-Fateh Hospital is tragic in that it appears due to cross-contamination by invasive procedures and poor sanitation practices; however review of the cases makes it adundantly clear that these practices and the consequent infections were already ongoing before the arrival of the defendants. The authors conclude strongly that no evidence is found for deliberate injection of HIV contaminated material.

    It is to the credit of your government that this cluster of cases has been investigated [Yerly et al, J Infect Dis 2001]. I sincerely hope that this exercise has improved conditions at the hospital to prevent further nosocomial infections, and that all of the children affected are receiving the best possible treatment. However, having worked in HIV/AIDS treatment here in the US, I know that scapegoating individual physicians and nurses while ignoring structural problems can only worsen our health systems. I understand that final review by the Libyan Supreme Court is pending, and urge fairness and a scientific review of the facts in this case. Given that the health workers face death sentences unless there is a reprieve, and have already been detained for many years on these unsubstantiated charges, I consider this matter of grave concern for humanitarian reasons as well as medical and legal impact. I implore you to release these health workers to their countries of origin.

    Thank you for considering my request.


    [d to the f]

    I don't know why I hadn't heard of this before... god, the things that slip through the cracks. Sometimes it's hard not to feel hopeless about it.

  •  Spotlight this issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies

    This story has not really caught in the media. Use Spotlight to help bring greater attention to the plight of the nurses and doctor.

    Some info:

    The Spotlight Project has launched on a number of progressive blogs such as Firedoglake and Crooks & Liars If you haven't heard about it:

    The Spotlight Project enables the progressive blogging community (bloggers, commenters, and lurkers) to quickly and easily forward blog posts, along with their own comments, to nearly anyone in the media.

    Since Spotlight is a serious tool, some suggestions:

    • Please be polite and reasonable.  We don’t want folks to get angry and up-in-arms over a bunch of ad hominem attacks.
    • Since it’s a serious tool that could have a profound effect as we try to re-shape the dominant narrative with key opinion makers, abusing it could not only lessen its effectiveness, it could neutralize it completely.
    • Praise is just as important — if not more so — than criticism.

    You can Spotlight the Daily Kos posts mentioned with the links below.

    Spotlight: "Libya Threatens The Lives Of Six Medical Workers"

    Spotlight: "We Urgently Need Your Help to Save the Tripoli Six"

  •  Good. (0+ / 0-)

    The more major publications take note, the better.  I hope many people here have sent off letters to congress/papers/anyone!
    Anyone know if there is much press coverage of this in Europe?

    Like my brother before me, I took a rebel stand - The Band

    by Clairegg on Sat Oct 14, 2006 at 12:15:43 PM PDT

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