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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:26, February 10, 2007
Bulgaria to stage rally on anniversary of nurses' arrest in Lybia
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Thousands of Bulgarians from across the country will stage a major rally on Friday in support of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, who were sentenced to death in Libya last year.

The rally, under the slogan "You are not alone," is aimed at marking the eighth anniversary of Libya's arrest of the six people on charges of "infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV with malice," the Sofia News Agency reported.

It will be the highlight in a series of events to show unprecedented unity of the nation and support for the nurses, said the report.

Late on Friday, an open-air prayer will also be held outside the Alexander Nevski Cathedral.

After being arrested eight years ago, the six were sentenced to death for a second time by a Libyan court last December for deliberately starting an outbreak, which infected more than 420 children with HIV at a hospital in Libya in the late 1990s.

More than 50 have since died, according to the Libyan authorities. The six have denied the charges and their defense lawyers argued that the children had been infected with HIV due to bad hygiene at the Benghazi hospital before their clients began working at the hospital.

Europe and the United States have urged Libya to release the defendants, saying that the six have been made scapegoats to hide the poor conditions of hygiene in the hospital. Bulgaria also contended that the children were infected by unhygienic practices at the Libyan hospital.

But Libya has remained defiant, saying others should not interfere with its courts.

Source: Xinhua

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