Oct 25, '06
A message from Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the AIDS virus:
Quote from www.sciencemag.org/cgi/rapidpdf/1136578v1.pdf
Convicting a small group of individuals of such an appalling crime as the deliberate infection of 400 innocent children requires a very high degree of proof. Yet the Libyan court chose to exclude expert testimony from independent scientists and to prevent access to crucial pieces of evidence to test for HIV contamination, while relying instead on “confessions” extracted under torture and making threats of execution for any noncooperation by the accused... These six innocent healthcare workers have been incarcerated in a Libyan prison for nearly 8 years, for what we believe was performing their jobs with inadequate equipment, after receiving inadequate training and having been exposed to the same risk of HIV infection as the Libyan children and hospital staff...
What has happened to the accused sends a chilling message to all heathcare workers who choose to work in difficult circumstances to deliver life- saving care to HIV-1–infected or at-risk people worldwide....
If Libya is truly willing to enter into meaningful dialogs with Western nations, it should take the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge Western scientists have gained about HIV-1 and AIDS over the past 25 years and not instead create yet more victims of the AIDS epidemic—in this case, the five Bulgarian nurses and Palestinian doctor.
Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 25, '06
Oct 28, '06
Commentary from Effect Measure:
Quote from scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2006/10/they_have_already_come_for_the.php#more
This long running case is not the only human rights abuse in the world but it has also become a symbol for the struggle for freeing science from the yoke of politicians and despots. Nature said it best in their strongly worded Editorial earlier this month:
"First they came for the Socialists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Socialist... Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak up for me." Martin Niemöller's poem, criticizing the inaction of German intellectuals in the face of the rise of the Nazis, serves as a powerful analogy for why scientists should be concerned by abuses of academic freedom, wherever they occur. Most readers of Nature take it for granted that they can travel to work each day, free to enquire, express opinions and criticize government policy, without fear of intimidation or reprisals -- let alone imprisonment or torture. Sadly, these freedoms can only be dreamt of in many countries of the world, where academics must live with, and often suffer directly, human-rights abuses. Their plight is our business.
But beyond humanitarian grounds, in this interconnected world we are engaged in a battle of ideas, and the failure to defend any abuse of academic freedom undermines the very principles that guarantee the rights we currently enjoy. Oppressive regimes typically stifle enquiry, as critical minds will inevitably also scrutinize their leaders. Enquiry is further undermined in such environments by the award of senior academic posts to the politically loyal rather than the competent, and the selection of policies or actions that suit governments' agendas, regardless of the scientific evidence.
Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 28, '06
Nov 29, '06
Documentary on this case:
INJECTION by Mickey Grant Productions
1 hr 21 min 55 sec - Sep 25, 2006
Creative Hat -- presented by Cindy & Mickey Grant
Injection is the real-life story of six health care workers falsely accused and jailed.
INJECTION - Google Video
Last edit by indigo girl on Nov 29, '06