EPSU joins protests against prison sentences for doctors and human rights defenders in Turkey

EPSU joins protests against prison sentences for doctors and human defenders Turkey

(Brussels, 21 December 2018) We join the European and global medical and human rights communities in condemning the prison sentences against Turkish doctors and academics for speaking out for peace and the suffering caused by wars. Charges should be dropped and the people released immediately.

On the 19th of December 2018 Istanbul's 37th High Criminal Court sentenced Dr Sebnem Korur Fincanci, the Chair of Human Rights Foundation of Turkey and former member of Istanbul Chamber of Medicine Honorary Committee, to two years and six months in prison for signing a peace petition in 2016 organised by a group of Turkish academics. Others who received prison sentences were Dr Ozdemir Aktan, a former president of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) (1 year 3 months) and Dr Gençay Gürsoy, a former Chair of the TMA and one of the founders of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey. There are many more members of the Turkish Medical Association that have trial or sentences over similar charges. Members of EPSU/ PSI affiliated unions are facing similar charges of working for “ terrorist” organisations. 

Many workers have been dismissed, have their passport cancelled and will not be able to work for public institutions, ever, due to changes in the legislation introduced by the government.

The EU should continue to speak out against these violations of justice and we regret that it does not.