Statement by Occupational Organizations on Arrested Medical Staff in Cizre

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  • August 8, 2019
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Four medical personnel have been arrested for having treated a child in the southeastern Sirnak province during the 2015-2016 conflict inthe region.

Taken into custody on August 2 for having treated a 10-year-old child who was injured in the 2015-2015 conflicts in Cizre, Sirnak, Physician N.S., along with medical personnel S.E, A.K. and A.T., were arrested by the Cizre Penal Judgeship of Peace yesterday (August 7).

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB), the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) and the Social Service Workers' Union (SES) released a joint statement, denouncing the arrests.

The statement said that arrest is not an obligatory method, rather a method that should be resorted to in exceptional cases, both in the laws of Turkey and the international law.

Stating that the addresses of homes and workplaces of the four personnel three of whom are public employees are known and they could give a statement had they been summoned, the organizations said the arrests are unacceptable.

"According to the information from lawyer meetings and the questioning at the court, the reason for their arrest is the allegation of providing medical service to an injured child 'around 10 years old' who applied to them.

"We, as the members of the occupation that is sided with life, believe that the right to life is the most sacred right. For this reason, we have a responsibility for providing necessary medical service to anyone who needs us anywhere, even in war and conflict zones.

"Let alone being arrested, we don't even accept being tried for the service of healing and making people live.

"Whoever they are, whatever their crimes are, it is our primary duty to defend the right to treatment of people who need us.

"With international humanitarian law, medical personnel are given responsibilities in conflict zones, too. According to the Geneva Convention and its additional protocols, medical personnel has the responsibility to provide healthcare and medical aid to anyone who needs them.

"The arrested medical personnel, adopting these universal ethical values, did their duty. What is criminalized and made a reason for the arrest is the primary duty of the medical personnel."

Source: English Bianet