Netherlands: Pressure on freed doctor not to lodge complaint against Libya

Palestinian-Bulgarian doctor Ashraf el Hagoug is under pressure by the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs not to lodge a complaint against Libya. Hagoug was told in a meeting with the ministry would damage ties to the country and would endanger Bulgarian nurses in Libya. The doctor sat in jail for 8 years since he was accused of infecting 400 children with HIV. He was extradited at the end of July to Bulgaria, where he was pardoned.

A month later his lawyer announced that Hagoug would lodge a complaint at the UN due to the unfair process that he got in Libya and the torture that he says he's been through in jail. According to Hagoug, after his release Europe seems to care more about the relations with Libya than about his fate and that of the five Bulgarian nurses who sat in jail with him in Libya. The complaint is already ready according to his lawyer, but has not yet been lodged due to political pressure.

Hagoug, who after his release came to the Netherlands because his parents and his sisters live in Woerden since 2005, was also told recently that he wouldn't get Dutch citizenship. The reason is that he has Bulgarian citizenship, he was told by the Ministry of Justice. That passport had ensured at the time that he would be extradited together with the five Bulgarian nurses to that country. "My Bulgarian passport saved my life. Therefore I can't give up this nationality."

Source: HLN (Dutch)

See also: Freed doctor: Upset at the Muslim world , Switzerland: Hospital suspends Libyan program

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