Sofia Echo


Palestinian doctor falsely imprisoned in Libya calls for Gaddafi's execution

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Wed, Aug 24 2011 2539 Views
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The Palestinian doctor imprisoned in Libya for eight years alongside six Bulgarian medics on charges of deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV has said he would like to see Muammar Gaddafi face the death penalty for his crimes.

However, Ashraf Jumaa El Hagoug, interviewed on Dutch television, said that he realised that the death penalty was not something that the International Criminal court (ICC) in The Hague would countenance. Nevertheless, he said he feels very strongly that justice should be seen to be meted out to Gaddafi.

"I’m desperately waiting for the moment when he disappears behind bars and feels the pain for himself. I was severely tortured and I still have the scars on my body 12 years after I was jailed in Libya...He must find out what it’s like to be imprisoned. He should feel the isolation. He should experience the humiliation," said El Hagoug.

El Hagoug and the Bulgarian medics were first accused of deliberately infecting more than 400 Libyan children in 1999. The spurious allegations, which were particularly immotive because the victims were children, were first laid out in a Libyan magazine in November 1998.

On July 24 2007, the five medics and the doctor were extradited to Bulgaria, where their sentences were commuted by the Bulgarian President and they were freed.

In February 2011, Libya's former justice minister Mustafa Abudel-Jalil conceded that the Gadaffi regime was responsible for infecting the children.

Shortly after the medics were released and returned to Bulgaria, Gadaffi's most famous son, Seif al-Islam, admitted in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde that the medics had indeed been tortured, prompting an angry exchange between father and son. 

Snezhana Dimitrova, one of the Bulgarian nurses who also spent more than eight years in a Libyan jail on the same charges has also said that the dictator must be brought to justice for his misdeeds.

In a handwritten 2003 declaration to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, Dimitrova described how she had been tortured with electric shocks and beatings until she made a "confession".

"They tied my hands behind my back," Dimitrova wrote. "Then they hung me from a door. It feels like they are stretching you from all sides. My torso was twisted and my shoulders were dislocated from their joints from time to time. The pain cannot be described. The translator was shouting, 'Confess or you will die here."'

"Muammar Gaddafi belongs in the Hague and he must be sued not only because he committed crimes against us but against his own people", Dimitrova said on August 23.

  • Sofia prosecutors still pursuing torturers of Bulgarian medics in Libya
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