Turkish Police Break Up International Health And Human Rights Conference

The World Medical Association has condemned the actions of the Turkish police who today refused to allow an international meeting on health and human rights to go ahead, unless the police were present and filmed the entire proceedings.

Doctors, health professionals and human rights workers had gathered in Izmir, on the coast of Turkey, for the annual conference of the International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organisations. Health care for prisoners was scheduled to be the major focus of the conference with presentations on a range of health care issues affecting prisoners, including major public health concerns such as the spread of TB in prisons.

Dr Anders Milton, Chairman of the World Medical Association has condemned the action of the Turkish police :

"I am shocked and appalled that the Turkish police should disrupt the work of doctors in this way. This meeting has been organised to discuss vital issues affecting the health care of prisoners. Turkey is an applicant for admission to the European Union and I am very disturbed that the Turkish police feel free to behave in this outrageous manner towards an internationally established and respected group of doctors who are working to improve health for vulnerable prisoners. I will be making immediate representations to the Turkish Government to express our anger and dismay."