Declan Butler, reporter This is the personal blog of Declan Butler, a senior reporter at Nature. All views expressed here are mine, and not those of Nature. Contact me at

October 1, 2006

Tripoli Six update

Filed under: HIV,Justice,Libya — admin @ 6:09 pm

Effect Measure has published a brief update on the situation, including useful links, such as how to write appropriate, polite, letters. Mike Dunford at The Questionable Authority also has useful links on what you can do.

The next court session is not until 31 October, when the defence is scheduled to present its case — a verdict is expected in November. This staccato nature of the trial makes it difficult to keep sustained attention on the case, and in particular denies the MSM the hard news pegs it needs. That said, the blogger network that has been established around this cause will be primed to react and expand when news comes out of that session end-October.

That said, there is much we can all do to usefully exploit the delay before the next court session, and I’ll be doing some original reporting myself to keep this on the burner, and seeking out new documentation. But one aspect that I’ve often heard repeated in feedback, is the sentiment that people have difficulty finding reliable information on the case. In fact, there is much information out there, but it is scattered across various websites. A Wikipedia page on the case already exists, but it is fairly bare, and one idea I had was that we could all start centralizing information there, even if everyone just contributed a couple of paras, or useful links. Mike Dunford’s links would be a great starting point. Nature has itself started a page of links to resources, that will expand. Both sites could then allow us to centralize information, which could be readily be pointed to, as sources of extra info. What do you think?

Meanwhile, in other news, has a story up here. Condoleezza Rice this week also called for the medics release in her first meeting with Libya’s foreign minister Abdel-Rahman Shalgham, since the US reestablished diplomatic relations with Libya this spring. French president Jacques Chirac, also said he was “following” the trial. Bulgarian news agencies have also picked up on the new scientific angle to the defence case; see here and here.

More than 170 blogs have now reported on the case — list here — which is great as each ignites a new spark. The list is now too long for people to wade though, so I’ll try to go through it, and highlight the most significant posts, and give these a special tag.

All thoughts welcome.

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