For Immediate Release
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) expressed concern today over credible reports that Turkish security forces are blocking access to urgent medical care for the sick and wounded in the course of their operations in southeastern Turkey.
PHR, the World Medical Association, the British Medical Association, the German Medical Association, and other leading medical groups have all condemned the obstruction of health care and reports of the killing of unarmed civilians in the region.
“The Turkish government and its security forces are demonstrating a blatant disregard for the health and wellbeing of their people,” said Dr. Vincent Iacopino, PHR’s medical director. “These extended curfews are dramatically limiting access to health care and are preventing medical workers from providing desperately needed care.”
In addition to the curfews, reports indicate that the government is cutting the delivery of water, food, and electricity, all critical to the provision of basic health care.
The groups also expressed alarm about reports of legal action and other forms of harassment taken against academics, health professionals, and human rights activists who have called on the Turkish government to respect international human rights law. The Turkish government has a recent history of deliberate attacks on and repression of the medical community, which PHR has documented.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.