On March 13, I traveled to Şirnak as part of a delegation of doctors, lawyers, and supporters from Turkey and around the world to witness the trial of Dr. Serdar Küni. A well-known doctor from the region, Dr. Küni is on trial for treating patients during the unrest last year in his hometown of Cizre.
In order to prevent more loss of life, Turkish authorities must cease unlawful practices that obstruct access to health care, and commit to investigating all allegations of human rights violations committed since July 2015 in the southeast.
The first person we met with upon arriving in Istanbul last June was the father of Berkin Elvan – a 14-year-old boy who left his home to buy bread during the Gezi Park protests and was hit in the head by a tear gas canister fired by police.
As the dust settles in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, with an agreement between the government and opposition groups, many questions remain. Will there be an independent investigation into the government’s tactics to put down the protests, including the reported use of snipers, which violate the principles on use of force?
2013 hit a low point, bringing about a new and more ferocious wave of targeted attacks on medical personnel and facilities. In an effort to destroy opposition, hide wounds inflicted by government authorities, and intimidate doctors from treating protesters and fighters, medical care -- and those who take an oath to provide it -- has come under a full assault.