Freed medic files torture lawsuit against Gaddafi

Freed medic files torture lawsuit against Gaddafi

PARIS – A Palestinian doctor jailed for more than eight years in Libya with five Bulgarian nurses has filed a lawsuit in France against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, accusing him of torture, the doctor’s lawyer said yesterday.

The legal action was timed to coincide with a six-day visit to Paris by Gaddafi which has been dogged by controversy over human rights violations in the north African state. Dr Ashraf Alhajouj and the Bulgarian nurses were sentenced to death after being convicted of deliberately infecting 460 Libyan children with HIV, but were freed in July after long negotiations with European Union envoys and the intervention of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.The lawsuit cited a 1984 international convention against torture, which was ratified by both France and Libya.”Dr Alhajouj is extremely grateful to France and the president for having extracted him from Gaddafi’s prisons.But he believes that France, the country of human rights, should not have welcomed such a person here,” said lawyer Francois Cantier.The lawyer said the anti-torture convention could be invoked in France because of Gaddafi’s presence in Paris.But his status as a head of state gives him diplomatic immunity and French prosecutors are highly unlikely to act on the lawsuit.The lawsuit also lists five Libyan security forces members.Nampa-ReutersDr Ashraf Alhajouj and the Bulgarian nurses were sentenced to death after being convicted of deliberately infecting 460 Libyan children with HIV, but were freed in July after long negotiations with European Union envoys and the intervention of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.The lawsuit cited a 1984 international convention against torture, which was ratified by both France and Libya.”Dr Alhajouj is extremely grateful to France and the president for having extracted him from Gaddafi’s prisons.But he believes that France, the country of human rights, should not have welcomed such a person here,” said lawyer Francois Cantier.The lawyer said the anti-torture convention could be invoked in France because of Gaddafi’s presence in Paris.But his status as a head of state gives him diplomatic immunity and French prosecutors are highly unlikely to act on the lawsuit.The lawsuit also lists five Libyan security forces members.Nampa-Reuters

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