World Medical Association asks for independent inquiry into violence against Gezi protesters
The World Medical Association (WMA) has called on the Turkish authorities to immediately end the excessive use of force against peaceful protestors, and to ensure the right to freedom of expression and assembly is respected. It has also called for an independent and impartial investigation into the excessive use of force, and for officials found guilty of mistreating demonstrators or other members of the public to be brought to justice.
The WMA’s intervention, in a letter dated June 4 and sent from the Association’s President Dr. Cecil Wilson to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, came at the request of the Turkish Doctors’ Association (TTB).
“The purpose of this letter relates to the current demonstrations that started peacefully in Gezi Public Park in Taksim Square – Istanbul - on May 27. The TTB has drawn our attention to alarming violence with excessive force used against protestors. The TTB reports hundreds of cases of injuries and detentions following police confrontations with protestors in Ankara as well as in other provinces including Adana, Eskişehir and Gaziantep. According to our sources, the majority of the injuries were caused by the use of water cannon and tear gas,” the WMA said in the letter.
“The WMA strongly condemns the misuse of crowd control or riot prevention technology, including abuses of human rights – such as tear gas and water cannon. It also condemns those that are used in a manner out of proportion with the need, or against populations with particular vulnerabilities,” it added.