World governments urged to condemn Turkish doctors’ prison sentences


  • Priscilla Lynch
  • Univadis Medical News
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The World Medical Association (WMA) has called on all governments to condemn the recent prison sentences involving leaders of the Turkish Medical Association.

In a statement, the WMA is demanding that the Turkish government immediately annuls the convictions and prison sentences handed down to the Turkish physicians for issuing a press release on 24 January 2018 claiming that "war is a public health problem". 

This latest call follows the recent joint open letter to EU leaders from the Standing Committee of European Doctors and the WMA urging them to add their voices to the protests.

WMA Secretary General Dr Otmar Kloiber said it is an "outrage" that 11 former members of the Turkish Medical Association’s central council have been sent to prison for up to 39 months for claiming that war is a public health concern.

“Their statement is directly in line with ethical WMA policy and with the Hippocratic Oath requiring doctors to dedicate their lives to the service of humanity. To claim that this is ‘propagandising for terrorist organisations’ makes a mockery of the principle of freedom of speech,” he said.

“We urge all world leaders to join us in denouncing the shameful treatment of these doctors. Justice demands their immediate release.”