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For Immediate Release

Ten Major Medical and Public Health Groups Call for Release of Bulgarian Nurses and Palestinian Doctor Convicted of Infecting Children with HIV

Cambridge, Mass - 03/23/2007

Ten major medical and public health associations, representing hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, and health experts, have written a letter to Libya's Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi calling for the release of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician wrongfully convicted of infecting children with the AIDS virus in a Libyan hospital. The letter is part of an international campaign to free the health workers, who have been imprisoned since February, 1999.

These groups signed the letter:

  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Medical Student Association
  • Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
  • HIV Medicine Association
  • International Human Rights Committee of American Public Health Association
  • Physicians for Human Rights
  • Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
  • Society of General Internal Medicine
  • World Federation of Public Health Associations

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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