After members of the European Union parliament increased their efforts in late January to get the Libyan government to rescind the death penalty convictions of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, an organization involved in the case warned that the pressure could backfire. The convictions were upheld in a December 2006 appeal for the plaintiffs, who are accused of intentionally infecting 426 children with HIV at one of the nation's hospitals, despite international outcry and testimony by medical experts that the infections were most likely the result of poor hygiene at the hospital before the accused even began working there.
The E.U. leaders called on Libya to abandon its death penalty and to clear a way for resolution in the current case on a humanitarian basis, or to face changes in Europe's policy toward the nation. The foundation working on behalf of the nurses and doctor has lodged an appeal with Libya's supreme court, but it warned that 'pressures by Europeans on Libya will have a negative impact on the situation of the nurses and the Palestinian doctor and will take the case out of its legal and judiciary context to the political arena.'