06/28/2007, 00.00
KAZAKISTAN
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21doctors charged with transmitting AIDS to 129 children

Sentences vary from three to eight years in prison. The children’s mothers protest and announce they will appeal the light sentences. The guilty motivated by greed to make money

Shymkent (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A court in the Central Asian state of Kazakhstan has found 21 medical workers guilty of causing an HIV outbreak which has so far killed 10 children and contaminated a further 119.

Judges charged the accused of trading illegal and infected blood: they “had acted recklessly, were guilty of corruption and malpractice and were selling blood to make money”.

An investigation into the outbreak found that many children had unnecessary and often multiple blood transfusions. Moreover, evidence proves that medical equipment was often not sterilised properly. Sentences of the condemned vary from three to eight years in prison.

Mothers of the victims wailed and shouted as they heard that one woman, who many local people hold responsible for the outbreak, would not be jailed. Many said that this was not the kind of justice they were hoping for, and added that they would appeal.

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