Negotiations With Libya Draw Fire

Human rights groups say payment of millions amounts to ransom
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 25, 2007 12:02 PM CDT
Bulgarian nurses Valentina Manolova Siropulo, left, and Nasia Stoitcheva Nenova center, look on as Snezhana Ivanova Dimitrova hugs an unidentified man after their arrival in the Bulgarian capital Sofia,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The negotiations that led to the release of the medics imprisoned in Libya are under fire from human rights organizations, which say the payments to the families of children infected with HIV amount to ransom money, the Times reports. Libya ignored due process, took hostages, tortured and raped them, and was essentially rewarded, the rights groups contend.

Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were sentenced to die before their terms were commuted; they were freed shortly after. Upon their return to Sofia yesterday, one of the nurses said she had contemplated suicide during her 8 years in custody. AN EU official involved in the negotiations hailed the resolution as a step forward in EU-Libyan relations.