20 December 2006 :Secretary of Hands Off Cain Sergio D’Elia and Elisabetta Zamparutti, treasurer, made the following declaration in relation to the case of the five Bulgarian medics and the Palestinian doctor sentenced to death in Libya:
“The case of the five nurses, due to become European citizens from January 1st 2007 with Bulgaria’s entry into the EU, has all the characteristics of a kidnap orchestrated by Libya so as to extort money from Bulgaria and the European Union. Following the death sentences handed down to the six in May 2004, the EU Commission put aside 2 million euros in November of the same year for an action plan to provide assistance to the Benghazi hospital.
In January 2005, Libya’s Supreme Court annulled the death sentences which have now been handed down by a lower court. It is evident there is a Libyan strategy in place aimed at obtaining higher amount of ‘blood money’. In order to resolve the case, the EU should avoid being blackmailed and put political pressure on Libya for the respect of fundamental human rights and the introduction of a moratorium on capital executions.”