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Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor stand accused in Libya of deliberately injecting 426 children with HIV in 1998, and may face the death penalty.

But their trial has failed to follow the norms of international justice, say 114 Nobel Laureates in this open letter to Libya's leader Muammar al-Gaddafi.

The authors say that critical scientific evidence has been excluded from the trial, including a 2003 report concluding that the infections were caused by poor hygiene and reuse of syringes that predates the foreign health workers' arrival in Libya in 1998.

The letter asks that defence lawyers be given the right to examine witnesses on the health workers' behalf, and that internationally recognised experts in HIV/AIDS research be allowed to testify on the evidence as to the cause of the infections.

Link to full article/paper in Nature

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