Arrest of Turkish Medical Association leaders condemned by WMA

The World Medical Association has expressed its grave concern over the arrests of leaders of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA).

In a strongly-worded statement today, the WMA President Dr. Yoshitake Yokokura condemned the arrests and the threats of physical violence and the criminal complaint that has been made against the TMA.

‘The WMA fully supports our Turkish colleagues in their public statements that war is a public health problem. The WMA has clear policy that physicians and national medical associations should alert governments to the human consequence of warfare and armed conflicts.

‘The Turkish Medical Association has a duty to support human rights and peace and we are alarmed about the latest arrests and the criminal complaint. We strongly denounce these attacks on freedom of expression, which is enshrined in article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that Turkey ratified in 2003.

‘We call on the Turkish authorities to immediately release the physician leaders and to end the campaign of intimidation. We urge national medical associations around the world to advocate for the full respect of Turkey’s humanitarian and human rights obligations, including the right to health, freedom of association and expression’.