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Turkey: Conviction of good medical practice by the Şırnak Local Court on behalf of Serdar Küni MD is unacceptable!
by Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
Dear friends and colleagues,
As you know, Serdar Küni MD. Human Rights Foundation of Turkey Cizre Representative and former president of the Şırnak Medical Chamber was arrested on October 19th, 2016 and has been detained since then pending trial. Küni is tried for his alleged treatment of persons alleged to be ‘militants’ and alleged to be ‘members of a terrorist organization’, and he is accused of membership to the armed organization.
The first hearing of the case was held on March 13th, 2017, at the Şırnak 2nd Heavy Penal Court. During the first hearing, it became very obvious that these allegations are not based on any concrete evidence. The witness testimonies upon which the allegations rely, do not include any specific information that can be linked to the charges. Furthermore, the testimonies have been denied also by the witnesses themselves, who stated that they have testified under torture and that the concerned testimonies have been fabricated. Despite all, Serdar Küni MD. wasn’t released in this first hearing and the hearing was postponed.
The 2nd hearing of the case was held on April 24th, 2017 in the presence of national and international observers, including representatives of the most prominent international medical and human rights organizations. The local court stated that no relationship of MD Küni with the armed organization was detected. Yet, at the end of this hearing, despite the absence of any concrete evidence, the court convicted and sentenced MD Küni to 4 years 2 months imprisonment. At the same time, Küni was released pending final decision of the Gaziantep regional high court.
We believe, the contradictory attitude of the panel of judges and its decision to release MD Küni, is indicative of the fact that the panel was not convinced by the nature of the evidence. We are deeply convinced that in this case where there is no concrete evidence, MD Küni will be definitely acquitted by the regional high court in the further period.
The proceeding has shown us clearly that what’s on trial is in fact, the universal ethical principles related to medical practice. Despite immense difficulties, MD. Serdar Küni has been, for many years and in the witness of many, practicing human rights-based medicine in Cizre district of Şırnak, with a strong commitment to the ethical and scientific references of good medical practice. Since the very first day, we know that the real target of this “trial” is national and international law and conventions, universal ethical principles of good medical practice and mainly human conscience.
As HRFT, we extend our most sincere gratitudes to all our friends and colleagues who stood by Serdar Küni in this process. Thanks to an enormous solidarity environment both at the national and international levels, Serdar Küni is with us again. We believe that with support of you all, he will be acquitted as required, and this case will be an exemplary one in terms of good medical practice in conflict environments throughout the world.
Human Rights Foundation of Turkey: Conviction of good medical practice by the Şırnak Local Court on behalf of Serdar Küni MD is unacceptable! April 25, 2017