Accessibility links

Breaking News

Libya Revokes Nurses' Death Sentences

Some of the Bulgarian medics who were sentenced to death (file) (epa) July 17, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Libya's top judicial body, the Judicial Council, has commuted to life in prison the death sentences of six foreign medics who have been convicted for infecting children with the HIV virus.

U.S. State Department official David Welch called the decision a "positive step forward," but not an end to the ordeal of the five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor. Welch said he hoped the medics would be allowed to return home.

Earlier today, it was announced that the families of the children have received financial compensation worth $460 million.

The 460 families have signed a declaration renouncing the death sentences after reportedly receiving $1 million each in compensation.

The medical workers, in prison since 1999, were sentenced to death in December 2006 after being convicted of intentionally starting an HIV epidemic at a children's hospital in the city of Benghazi. Fifty-six of the children have died in the epidemic.

The medics say they are innocent and that they were tortured to confess.

(compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Exclusive Interviews

RFE/RL Exclusive Interviews

U.S. Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes being interviewed by RFE/RL in Prague on June 11 (RFE/RL)

AT THE MICROPHONE. RFE/RL frequently conducts in-depth interviews with leading newsmakers and analysts from throughout its broadcast region. Transcripts of many of these interviews have been gathered on a special archive page.

Recent Highlights:

Romanian President Traian Basescu | On EU aspirations

Georgian Integration Minister Giorgi Baramidze | On Georgia's relations with NATO, EU

U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA Gregory Schulte | On Iran's nuclear program

Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov | On relations with Uzbekistan

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma | On the return to power of Viktor Yanukovych