Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Who is Michael Shields?

I think now that the whole world knows about Libyan justice or lack of it as Bulgaria and other EU countries have continuously made sure everyone knew about it and in a way if their nurses are free of the crime of infecting 100s of Libyan children with the HIV virus then who can blame them!

I just wanted to mention this case which is well known here in the UK concerning Bulgarian miscarriage of justice, the reason I am posting about it is to show that no country is immune from miscarriage of justice and that countries like Bulgaria should look at their own door step before they start misleading the world about how justice should be carried out.

This is the case of Michael Shields, Michael is a young English man who in 2005 was accused by the Bulgarian authorities of the attempted murder of a Bulgarian man who received severe head injuries, Michael Sheilds who was only 18 at the time was asleep when this crime happened as witnesses confirmed yet the police arrested him at his hotel, charged him with the crime and was sentenced to 15 years in a Bulgarian prison, after the sentencing another English man, Graham Sankey admitted to committing this crime and announced that he was prepared to co-operate with the Bulgarians and that Michael Shields should be freed. Surprisingly the Bulgarians refused this confession and insisted that they have the guilty man.

There was a lot of anger in Britain at the time and even some MPs called for the suspension of Bulgaria's entry t0 the EU unless they free the innocent man.

Recently Bulgaria agreed to reduce his prison sentence to 10 years but refused again a re-trial.
Here is what the British prime minister Tony Blair said about this case:
"We will continue to raise it with the Bulgarian authorities but obviously this is something where we have got to be very careful about interfering with another country's independent judicial process.
"But, nonetheless, I can assure you that we will watch the case and monitor it very closely and we are in touch with the Bulgarian authorities about it."

For more details about this case visit: Free Michael Shields

Newspaper: Liverpool Echo

What really saddened me is that I have seen many Bulgarian websites that are doing nothing but attack Libya and I do not mean the Libyan government, I mean Libyan people. YouTube has many videos made by Bulgarians for the support of their nurses which is fair enough but what I found unacceptable is the racist and insulting comments made by Bulgarians and some Europeans against our people, some Libyan people have commented back with insults to certain individuals but I am glad to say that non of the Libyan comments were racist or insulting to Bulgaria as a nation, for that I am proud to say that we are more civilised than those ignorant people that are only destroying their country's image.

Here is a selection of what I found but after I censored some of the bad language:

One day you will pay u ****** arab pigs!U all will burn in the Bulgarian hell!

Libya is a nation of cowards....They are the coyotes of the desert; the scum of the Arab world.

Lybians are ***** fanatics!!!Freedom for the Bulgaria Medics!!!You are not Alone

We will destroy your arab scum hole soon libya watch out!


How many Arabs does it take to change a light bulb?..None. Arabs just sit in the dark and blame it on the Jews.Same thing with the HIV infection, but this time they blame foreign medics..

One of the strangest name calling I found which was repeated many times, was calling Libyans, gypsies! as far as I know Bulgaria has many gypsies yet they seem to use this word as an insult, I do not find calling me a gypsy an insult, Libyans are not gypsies but perhaps this shows how some so called civilised nations are racists against their own people, shame.

This was just a sample of the racists war declared on Libyans on the Internet


Safia speaks said...

Gods gift to humanity. Right!

A.Adam said...

hee not on Youtube, on Skype live public conversations. stupid acts by ignorant people affected by Bulgarian media

Anonymous said...

Did you read this :
Police free two terror suspects

AngloLibyan said...

thank you Safia, a.adam & anonymous for your comments

Trabilsia said...

Gypsies is one we've never been called before!

Where is the so called right scale of values??? Does it exist only for certain people ??

If so, then we need not pretend to expect the unexpected ie:
Right scale of values for only the no, 1 citizens of the world and for the others...............

Still we will pray for this ignorance to be understood and not mislead us against our goal of better understanding,hence peace.

May Allah bless you Anglo.

white african said...

i didnt know about this case so thank you anglo for bringing it to our attention.

as for those so called comments that seem to come from dsyfunctional minds, well there not worth the dust on our 'arab' feet.

shame that such simple minds can damage a country's reputation, i foe one will try not to tarnish bulgarians with the same brush

AngloLibyan said...

Trabilsia, as usual you always see the good side of people and you never wish anyone harm, that is how we (Libyans) should be, proud people, thank you & bless you too.

whiteafrican, I knew about this case but forgotten about it until few days ago.
I agree with you, these people are damaging Bulgaria's reputation, I am sure many decent Bulgarians would not agree with that but I wish they would make it clear, thank you for your comment.

MaySoon said...

AngloLibyan, I actually laughed at the "Gypsies" one, well such comments for sure came from ignorant people as whiteafrican said "dysfunctional minds" that is it, there is good and bad people every where.. Rabna Ehdee o 7'alas!

AngloLibyan said...

thank you Maysoon, yes i thought gypsy was funny especially that a huge number of east Europeans are gypsies, I feel sorry for them now that I know their own people think that the word gypsy is an insult!

Ghazi Gheblawi said...

You said it all guys. please find below a new article on the matter of the Children's case, it is a recent article which addresses important issues.
the article is published by ljm regarding the HIV outbrake in Benghazi.

AngloLibyan said...

thank you Ghazi, I read the article and it does have some good points especially if the outbreak was due to lack of hygine then why it did not happen in other hospitals that lack hygine all over the world??

Anonymous said...

"why it did not happen in other hospitals that lack hygiene all over the world??"

Why world we all know how AIDS is generally transmitted and in our country its usually men who get it from their adventures abroad or through drug abuse so why didn't the outbreak happen in worse hospitals like "al jalaa" which had nearly no hygienic standards at the time? or the other hospitals which were all worse than the children's hospital and why was it specific to a certain time and ward and such a large number in such a relatively small period.

Suliman said...

Greetings, folks. I just want to pick up on a side issue, namely the article cited by Ghazi. I read it once, and I might have more to say about it, time permitting, but here are a few immediate reactions.

1. The authors make it clear that their opinion was published in the LJM only after it was rejected by the New England Journal of Medicine.

2. The lead author is an associate editor of the same journal publlishing his opinion, and in light of point 1 above.

3. The paper is written in defense of the position of the Libyan Experts Committee, which was chaired by the Editor in Chief of the LJM.

4. The paper makes repeated mention of something it calls "Western Doctors," to whom it categorically attributes certain views and positions. I don't believe the phrase "Western Doctors" denotes a particular school of scientific thought; it is a purely geopolitical term, which is hardly an acceptable distinguishing characteristic in the context of a purely scientific rebuttal. By my logic, the lead author himself is professionally a "Western" expert, unless "western" is meant as an ethnicity which would be informative of a certain point of view, though senseless in its own right.

5. The paper makes a hill of beans out a CDC guideline on the rate of incidence of hospital infection with HIV (0.3%), but its argument is misleading as it disregards to inform the reader of the dispersion of the CDC rate. It is utterly ludicrous to think, insinuate, or treat the rate of 0.3% as though it applies uniformly in all places and times. This is indeed the proverbial case of the statistician who drowned in a lake where the average depth is 6 inches! I am suprised that the authors use a poor statistical argument to back calculate what appears to be an unreasonable number of requisite injections, yet they turn a blind eye to the rate of nurse infection at the BCH in comparison to "average" rates. From what I read, two nurses at the hospital are/were infected with HIV. Why don't the authors apply their logic, CDC average rates, and then tell us what they conclude about the requisite number of employed nurses, as opposed to the actual number?

6. Last, but not least, the paper completely ignores and sidesteps the most recently published scientific study on the subject, published in Nature by Oliveira et al., which conflicts with some of the findings of the earlier study by Visco-Cmandini et al. Also, one of the co-authors (Perrin) states elsewhere that he had been commissioned by Libyan authorities to prepare a report on the infected children and that he reported way back in 1999 or thereabout that the infections were then older than their alleged age of one year.

Suliman A. Dregia

Anonymous said...

"Western Doctors"

By western doctors it is referring to the racism practiced by westerners ( doctors - engineers politicians ) and otherwise against others .
The question isn't east and west its white and not so white ? the Mexicans aren't Arab or Muslims, neither are the native Indians in south and north America neither are the Turks neither is anybody else who is not white, so I think the point AngloLibyan wanted to make about this article is valid and the West is just focusing on us as if we are the reason, just to justify their racism which always existed and still does and was more evident from the colonial wars which they still consider right and valid an example France, and since you are in the US ask the Mexicans and Indians why they don't like the US government and if it has anything to do with religion or race?
The only reason they allow immigrants in is to make up for their low birth rates and bad social habits and when the immigrants refuse to accept their cultures they are challenged like France, Germany and recently the UK.
Final word don't get me started on why the Libyans in the US are different from those in Europe because you won't like it and I think you will find that the answer lies in the fact that most vote republican.

Suliman said...

Dear Anonymous: Your account is that Libyans in the US mostly vote republican and that distinguishes them from Libyans in Europe. Interesting. Any thoughts on how the Libyans in Europe vote? I'm guessing, democrat?

I doubt that the authors were saying what you anonymously attributed to them, whether on white racism, voting trends, or whatever.

AngloLibyan said...

anonymous, Suliman & anonymous, I thank you for your contribution to this post.

Living Away said...

“…We have got to be very careful about interfering with another country's independent judicial process”!!
Yeah, it would be wonderful if this statement were used to every single country and not according to its convenience!!

Anglo, please dear friend don’t pay attention to those people talking.
You know, I feel sorry for them! I feel sorry because they are not smart enough to have their own opinion and therefore they follow the media who also has a sword on its neck some time!
Also I always feel deeply sorry for people who don’t know how to coexist! The most beautiful thing in this planet is our differences and we must celebrate it!

AngloLibyan said...

thank you living away for your ever so nice & understaning comments.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Bulgaria.
There's just one thing in the Shield case.
The guy who said he trowed the stone, refused to repeat his side of the story in a court. Or in front of the police or any other law-power.
And he also said he would not go to jail instead of him.

AngloLibyan said...

thank you anonymous for your comment. according to websites here, he said he is prepared to do all of that but perhaps he is refusing to go to Bulgarian authorities.

Maya M said...

I'm also a Bulgarian.
I don't find it quite relevant when Libyans cite Shields's case in connection with the HIV case (Highlander did it before at https://www2.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=5760993&postID=114306313998064632). Bulgaria claims that the nurses are innocent, it has never claimed it has perfect justice.
I agree that Shields's case isn't the best example of justice. The initial sentence was too severe, compared with other similar cases. And it must have been based on forensic evidence. Unfortunately, this was one of the cases when forensic experts didn't do their job. So the court resorted to eyewitnesses' testimonials, which are less reliable and easier to attack. I think that, while it is possible that the witnesses mistook another man for Shields, it is most likely they were right it was Shields, and at any rate they had no motive to want an innocent man sentenced instead of the culprit. Shields's friends, on the contrary, were strongly motivated to help him, so I don't take their words at face value. About Sankey's "confession", I'll cite what I wrote at Highlander's blog, "A statement that does not carry the legal consequences of a confession is just talk... What if I send to Libya a signed letter, "Release the defendants, it was me who infected the children"?"
Anyway, Shields is already in Britain, I think he's likely to be released soon and I don't mind it.
AngloLibyan, you seem to believe (or at least to find it possible) that there was something more than poor hygiene in the Al-Fateh hospital, don't you? You ask - why not in another hospital. Well, there have been plenty of cases in other hospitals. I've cited some examples at http://mayas-corner.blogspot.com/2006/09/hiv-trial-in-libya-part-1-infection.html.
It is true that there is anti-Gypsy racism in Bulgaria. However, I believe that over time, with a lot of goodwill, reason and patience and some luck, things will improve. Because our Gypsies are doomed to live with us and we are doomed to live with them. Every time some of them try to emigrate, the other country (while accusing us in racism and all other sins) immediately flows them back.
It is easy to succumb to racism when you feel wronged by some member of another ethnic group. Bulgarians now tend racistly to blame all Libyans because most of them believe our nurses are guilty. And I myself felt something turning inside me when our former foreign minister Passi visited Libya and was "greeted" by people with slogans, "Thank you for the AIDS". Although I know that these slogans may have been put in people's hands, and that even if they really think so, this is because they are brainwashed by their dictator's propaganda.
It's so easy to be racist. Just see comment No. 1 above.
Sorry for the long comment.

AngloLibyan said...

Maya, welcome to my blog and thank you very much for the information, I will check all the links in comment and yes as said I do not believe hygine alone is responsible, I do honestly hope that the nurses are innocent thats why i keep saying that there should be an international court, i do believe that there are other forces involved in this crime, most likely the Libyan government whether they were helped by the nurses or not, this remains to be seen.

Maya M said...

Thanks, AL. I'm sorry for monopolizing the discussion by adding yet another comment, but I've just now read the article linked by Ghazi (I admit I didn't expect exactly him to be a fan of such texts :( ). I'm not going to rebut the authors' statements here (possibly on my blog), but I wish to point to you the detail about hepatitis C. It is true that this disease has "very different pathogenesis" from AIDS, but it has the same routes of transmission: sexual and blood. So, the authors' unsubstantiated claim that hepatitis C virus "may have infected them (the children) by vertical transmission" means what? That the parents had either been victims of earlier intra-hospital hepatitis C infections (and then we should ask, if HCV can be spread this way, why not HIV also?), or they had contracted the virus by the natural, sexual way. Am I clear enough? Let me use the language of the Bulgarian kids cited by AL: the two Libyan-American authors actually say that it is a Libyan hobby to f*** any person you see. In order to support Qaddafi's libel against my people, they readily resort to libels against their own people.

Anonymous said...

Ghazi..thank you so much for the article. It made me realize this is so much more than just the foreign medics.

If indeed it is bio-terrorism then I am truly convinced other "more important" people are behind it...not just these nurses and doctor. It is possible they are "scapegoats" behind a very sinister plan.

Again, my question is: Why would a palestinian doctor and 7 bulgarian nurses WANT to harm these children? :-(blu

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