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AIDS expert criticizes Nobel committee

«Awarding the Peace Prize to Wangari Maathai reveals ignorance and failure at the Nobel committee,» stated Stig Frøland, Norwegian AIDS expert.

Frøland claims Maathai’s statements that the HIV virus was created in western laboratories has undermined the work to fight AIDS in poor countries.

«Wangari Maathai has, of course, planted a number of trees,» wrote Frøland in his comment in Aftenposten Wednesday. «But she has also planted the seed of hatred in the hearts of many Africans.»

Frøland is a professor at Rikshospitalet and is one of Norway’s most prominent AIDS experts. He claims the Nobel committee failed in their preliminary work of this year’s assignment of the prize if they knew of Maathai’s statements.

«If this is the case, it reveals ignorance about or downgrading of the AIDS epidemic influence in Africa and globally. The alternative is that the committee did not know of Maathai’s opinions. If this is the case, it reveals a serious failure in the preliminary work which has to be the basis of the committee’s decisions.»

Frøland also criticizes Norwegian press for not being critical enough of Maathai, and he urged journalists to post critical questions to Maathai when she arrives in Oslo to accept the award.

«The Nobel committee should also feel obligated to clearly state that it does not share the price winner’s view on AIDS,» wrote Frøland.

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