As Declan Butler reports on his blog, the Tripoli 6 case is reaching its final phase. To summarize briefly, The Tripoli 6 are five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor who have been imprisoned in Libya for 7 years and then condemned to death by firing squad on charges they deliberately infected some four hundred or more children with HIV in the hospital in Bengazi. Scientific work later demonstrated they could not have been the source of the infection. You can find previous posts we did on this here. On December 19 a new trial, called as a result of an appeal to the Libyan Supreme Court of the original verdict, again pronounced a death sentence on the health workers. The most recent sentence was again appealed to the Libyan Supreme Court. Their verdict is now scheduled to be handed down on July 11 (postponed from today):
We are now in the crucial final phase of the Tripoli six case. This morning, Libya’s Supreme Court heard the appeal of the six. There will be no further hearings, and it will rule on 11 July. Meanwhile, the families of the Libyan children are discussing a possible settlement with the European Union, and an announcement on that is expected Friday. (Declan Butler’s blog)
That settlement has been the subject of intense negotiation. For the children and their families the results would be internationally coordinated humanitarian aid to provide lifelong treatment and support for the children and their families. If an agreement can be fashioned, most observers feel that will open the way to tackle the problem of the release of the six health workers. Even if the death sentence is affirmed, which is quite possible, the death sentence could be annulled or clemency granted under Islamic Law.
Obviously this is the goal. But nothing is done until it’s done. So we continue to wait and hope things don’t go horribly wrong. For a change.