Turkish President is urged to release human rights physician

The World Medical Association has urged the Turkish President to intervene in the case of a Turkish physician jailed for providing medical treatment to alleged members of Kurdish armed groups.

Dr. Serdar Küni, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey’s representative in Cizre and former president of the Şırnak medical chamber, who was arrested and detained in 2016, is due to face a final appeal hearing on April 1.

In a letter to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Dr. Miguel Jorge, President of the WMA, writes: ‘Dr Serdar Küni is a well-known physician, for having practiced medicine in the Cizre district of Şırnak for many years, with a strong commitment to the ethical and scientific references of good medical practice. A condemnation by the Sırnak Heavy Penal Tribunal would send a distressing message in the country and globally that the Turkish medical profession is prevented from practicing in line with medical ethics standards. It would also strongly suggest that Turkey disregards its international human rights obligations.

‘We therefore urge you to take all the necessary measures in your capacity in support of Dr. Serdar Küni, so that the charges based on his medical practice are dropped immediately and unconditionally’.