February 11, 2016
Recently, IFHHRO signed an open letter issued by the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) to the Turkish government, urging it to respect the right to health and life of civilians in the Southeast of Turkey.
The Independent Forensic Expert Group of the IRCT, together with other leading health-based organisations, have expressed their concern about the credible reports that, in the course of their operations, Turkish security forces are killing unarmed civilians and blocking access to urgent medical care for the sick and wounded. In an open letter to Prime Minister Davutoğlu, these groups and organizations have called upon Turkey to “remove any obstructions to accessing medical care, including, but not limited to, the indefinite curfews, interference by security forces, and failure to deliver water, food, and electricity.” In addition, the signatories have expressed grave concern about the reports of legal action and other forms of harassment taken against their Turkish colleagues in the health system who have called on their government to respect international human rights law.
“Allowing access to care for the sick and wounded is a basic principle of human dignity, moreover, a basic human right,” said Asger Kjaerum, IRCT Director of Advocacy. “It’s an outrage that the Turkish government is blocking its people from accessing health care and then investigating Turkish health professionals who are pointing out that fact.”