Ashraf El Hajouj

Ashraf El Hajouj is a Palestinian-Bulgarian medic who was the principal defendant in Libya’s so-called “HIV Trial”.

Raised in Libya, El Hajouj was in the final month of an internship at Benghazi hospital when he was arrested and accused of infecting more than 400 children with HIV. He was sentenced to death in May 2004, only for a retrial to be ordered. The retrial came to the same verdict, but El-Hajouj’s sentence was commuted to life in 2007. He denied all charges.

In 2007 El Hajouj was awarded Bulgarian citizenship and deported to the country as part of a prisoner swap. He published a book entitled Khaddafi’s Scapegoat in 2010 and was awarded $1 million in damages by a Dutch court in 2012.