nurses and a Palestinian doctor freed by Libya after more
than eight years in prison for allegedly infecting children
with HIV waived their right to seek redress from Libya
upon their release, the doctor said Wednesday.
''Yes, we signed
such papers,'' physician Ashraf al-Hazouz told
journalists at the European Parliament, where the group
attended meetings with the assembly's political groups
Al-Hazouz did not
elaborate on the nature of the documents, nor did he
say who asked the group to sign them. But he said the six
medics will not ask for financial compensation.
The six were
freed in July following intense diplomatic efforts by the
European Commission and French president Nicolas Sarkozy and
his wife, Cecilia.
Commission, which was involved in the negotiations to free
the medics, said it had no knowledge of any waivers signed
by the group.
''We don't know
if they've signed anything; if they did, we weren't
there,'' said Christiane Hohmann, spokeswoman for EU
External Relations Commissioner Benita
circumstances of the medics' release remain unclear. Cecilia
Sarkozy told L'Est Republicain newspaper she
''negotiated relentlessly'' with Libyan officials for 50
hours after arriving in Tripoli, the country's
capital, to get them free.
In Paris the
French parliament's foreign affairs committee on Wednesday
agreed to set up an inquiry committee to look into the
events in Tripoli.
lawmaker Pierre Moscovici, who will chair the group, said it
aimed to clarify whether any ''financial, military, or
nuclear concessions'' were granted to Libya in
exchange for the release of the group.
A British member
of the European Parliament said he had put a written
question to Ferrero-Waldner asking her to shed some light on
the circumstances under which the six were freed.
''For eight years
we were ineffective. I think there's a case to be
answered. Libya should compensate the medics,'' British
Conservative Geoffrey Van Orden told the Associated
nurse Valentina Siropulo said they would not seek financial
compensation from Libya.
''We're not going
to ask for money from Libya, a country that has caused
us so much suffering,'' Siropulo said.
urged the EU to ''open its human rights file on Libya with
a surgical knife.''
''The EU has a
moral responsibility to do that,'' he said, adding that
the group was the victim of ''dirty politics.''
Libya had accused
the five nurses and the doctor -- who has been granted
Bulgarian citizenship -- of deliberately infecting more than
400 Libyan children with HIV; 50 of the children died.
International experts testified at their trial that
the infections were caused by unclean conditions at
the hospitals where the children were treated.
jailed since 1999, were initially sentenced to death but
later had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.
They deny the charge and say confessions were
extracted under torture.
In 2005 the
nurses filed suits for torture against 10 Libyan officers,
but the charges were rejected by a Libyan court.
The five nurses
-- all mothers -- traveled to Libya nearly a decade ago,
attracted by promises of higher-paying jobs. They were sent
through a Bulgarian recruitment agency to al-Fath
Children's Hospital in Libya's second-largest city,
Benghazi. They were arrested the year after their
medics' release the EU said it would offer Libya a
wide-ranging package of better economic and political ties
-- potentially worth billions of dollars -- from the
opening of markets for Libyan imports to easier
travel, allowing Tripoli to shed its status as a pariah
against Libya were lifted after 11 years in 2003 when
Gadhafi announced he was dismantling his nuclear weapons
program. That same year Libya accepted responsibility
for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over
Lockerbie, Scotland, and agreed to pay restitution to the
families of the 270 victims. (Jan Sliva, AP)