WMA Outrage Over Arrest Of Chairman Of Ankara Medical Association

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The World Medical Association today expressed outrage at the arrest and alleged beating in Turkey of the chairman of the Ankara Medical Association .

Dr Anders Milton, chairman of the WMA, said: "I am deeply concerned about reports that Dr Umit Erkol, chairman of the Ankara Medical Association, was arrested this week following demonstrations in support of political prisoners on hunger strike.

Dr Erkol, who works for the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, was arrested in Ankara on Tuesday, along with many others. He was released after several hours, after reportedly being severely beaten in a police van, and is due to appear in court.

Dr Milton added "This is just the latest in a long line of deplorable incidents where doctors and others in Turkey are being arrested and beaten for defending the human rights of their patients. The WMA calls on the government of Turkey to ensure that these rights are properly protected".

Political prisoners are on hunger strike across Turkey in protest at the Turkish government's plans to move them to new prisons where they will be isolated in small cells. They fear that they will then be at greater risk of assault and torture. The Ankara Medical Association has been supporting the prisoners.