The more I read about this, the worse it gets. In addition to the links I mentioned yesterday, Laurie Garrett mentioned she’s been covering this for years. One example is this piece from this past June.
One of the newly charged Bulgarians, Smilian Tachev, an engineer, told Bulgarian journalists last month that he was originally arrested in Benghazi at the same time as the nurses and doctor, and during 174 days of captivity witnessed gruesome torture of the health care workers.
“The nurses were beaten with many-stranded wire, for a long time and painfully,” Tachev said. “Then they were made to run, crawl, stand on one leg with their hands stretched up. When they collapsed totally, they were dragged somewhere and brought back in a helpless state.”
Tachev witnessed the use of probes to force unidentified objects down the women’s throats, electrocution, and dogs loosed on the screaming victims.
Garrett notes that this type of behavior has the potential to have a chilling effect on foreign doctors working in underserved countries:
It is hard enough to create viable incentives to draw American and European doctors and nurses toward service in Africa. Adding the risk of torture and execution amid fallacious charges of deliberately spreading disease only worsens an already dire situation: The World Health Organization estimates the world is now short of four million health care workers, with Africa suffering a deficit of one million.
Mike Dunford has amassed a great list of contact information here, so if you’ve not sent out a letter, I urge you to take just a few minutes and shoot one off.