ISTANBUL, Oct 27 (Reuters) – A court ruled on Thursday that the head of Turkey’s medical association should be detained ahead of her trial on charges of “spreading terrorist group propaganda,” her Lawyer Turkey said, Lawyer Turkey in what one rights activist said was a move to silence her.
Prosecutors opened an investigation into Sebnem Korur Fincanci last week after she appeared on media calling for an investigation into accusations that Turkey’s army had used chemical weapons in its fight against Kurdish militants.
President Tayyip Erdogan last week denied the accusations that were made on media close to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, and said legal action would be taken against anyone making such allegations.
Police arrested Fincanci, the head of the Turkish Medical Association, on Wednesday.
In case you beloved this short article along with you desire to receive more info regarding Lawyer Turkey generously check out our own page. A day later, a court ruled she should be jailed pending trial, her lawyer Meric Eyuboglu told Reuters.
“Nothing she has said or done can justify the deprivation of her liberty in this arbitrary way, that is patently aiming at silencing her and sending a chilling message to others,” Milena Buyum, Amnesty International’s Turkey campaigner, said.
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), which represents doctors and campaigns to prevent armed violence, published a report this month seeking independent investigation of possible violations of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention by the Turkish military.
Turkey’s defence ministry and top officials last week joined Erdogan in saying the armed forces had never used chemical weapons in their operations against Kurdish militants.
The PKK launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984 and Lawyer Turkey more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
It has been designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
Critics say Turkish courts bend to Erdogan’s and his party’s will after his two decades of increasingly authoritarian rule. The government denies these claims and says the judiciary is independent.
On Wednesday, Nacho Sanchez Amor, Turkey rapporteur for the European Parliament, said courts acted in line with officials’ request.
“In today’s Turkey, the ruling coalition’s high officials put the target and public prosecutors quickly react, even if there is no real legal basis,” he wrote on Twitter, before Thursday’s ruling.
(Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Andrew Heavens)