World Medical Association Condemns Censorship Sentence On Turkish Doctor

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The World Medical Association today joined the world condemnation of the treatment of doctors in Turkey, following the sentencing yesterday of the internationally renowned Professor Veli Lök.

Professor Lök, an orthopaedic surgeon and human rights defender, was sentenced yesterday to being forced to live under censorship for five years after facing charges relating to press statements he made about the ill treatment and detention of human rights defenders.

Dr Delon Human, Secretary General of the World Medical Association, said he was appalled by the sentence, which he described as a violation of the right to freedom of expression.

"This sentence of censorship means that Professor Lök cannot publicly criticise Turkish authorities on the issue of torture for five years. Yet doctors in Turkey are being harassed simply because they are providing treatment for victims of torture.

"This is all about the fundamental right of doctors to treat patients irrespective of their political views. The sentencing of Professor Lok will put further pressure on physicians in Turkey who fight for the preservation of the human rights of their patients.

"The WMA's Declaration on the Right of the Patient states explicitly that every person is entitled without discrimination to appropriate care, and physicians in Turkey, as in any other country, should be free to treat patients irrespective of their political affiliations".