TUR 004 / 1116 / OBS 092.1
Sentence /
Provisional release
Turkey
April 26, 2017
 
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Turkey.
 
New information:
 
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the conviction and sentence against Dr.Serdar Küni, Cizre Representative of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) and former President of the Şırnak Chamber of Medicine.
 
According to the information received, on April 24, 2017, Dr. Serdar Küni was sentenced to four years and two months of imprisonment by the Şırnak SecondHeavy Penal Court under Article 220/7 which states that “a person who knowingly and willingly assists the organization but is not within the hierarchical structure of the organization is punished as a member of the organization”. His sentence is related to his work as a physician, providing health service in Cizre which experienced intensified armed operations[1].
 
Dr. Serdar Küni who had been detained since his arrest on October 19, 2016 (see background information), was released pending final an appeal decision of the Gaziantep regional high court. As of publishing this appeal, no date for the decision had been set.
 
The Observatory strongly condemns the sentencing of Dr. Serdar Küni as it only aims at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities.
 
Accordingly, the Observatory urges Turkish authorities to put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Dr. Serdar Küni.
 
Background information:
 
On October 19, 2016, Dr. Serdar Küni was heard by the Cizre Prosecutor, after an arrest warrant was issued against him. He was arrested on the spot and further detained at the prison of Şırnak.
 
His trial opened before the Şırnak SecondHeavy Penal Court on March 13, 2017. During the first hearing, no concrete evidence was provided against Dr. Serdar Küni and witnesses who provided testimonies stated that these had been obtained under torture. The hearing was postponed to April 24, 2017.
 
Actions requested:
 
Please write to the authorities in Turkey, urging them to:
 
i. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at judicial level, against Dr. Serdar Küni, as well as all human rights defenders in Turkey;
 
ii. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Dr. Serdar Küni as well as of all human rights defenders in Turkey;
 
iii. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with its Articles 1, 6(a), 9, 11, 12.2;
 
iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Turkey.
Addresses:
 
·       President of Turkey, Recep Mr. Tayyip Erdoğan, Cumhurbaşkanlığı Külliyesi 06560 Beştepe-Ankara, Phone: (+90 312) 525 55 55, Fax: (+90 312) 525 58 31, E-mail: contact@tccb.gov.tr
·       Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Binali Yıldırım, Vekaletler Caddesi Başbakanlık, Kızılay/Ankara Phone: +90 (312) 422 10 00; Fax +90 (312) 403 62 82 Email: ozelkalem@basbakanlik.gov.tr
·       Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Dr. Sadık Ahmet Cad, No: 8 Balgat/ Ankara – Turkey 06100; Phone : +90 (312) 292 10 00
·       Minister of Justice, Mr. Bekir Bozdağ, 06659 Kizilay, Ankara; Phone: +90 (312) 417 77 70; Fax: +90 (0312) 419 33 70; E-mail: info@adalet.gov.tr
·       Minister of Interior, Mr. Süleyman Soylu, Bakanlıklar Ankara; Phone: +90 (312) 422 40 00; Fax: 90 312 418 1795; Email: ozelkalem@icisleri.gov.tr
·       Minister of Health, Mr. Recep Akdağ, Mithatpaşa Cad. Sıhhıye / Ankara 06434-Turkey; Phone: +90 (312) 585 10 00; eposta@saglik.gov.tr
·        Ambassador Izzet Selim Yenel, Diplomatic Mission of Turkey to the European Union in Brussels, Avenue des Arts 36-38, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium; Fax: + 32 2 511 04 50
·        Ambassador Mehmet Ferden Çarikçi, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations in Geneva, Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28B 1211 Geneva 19, Tel: +41 22 918 50 80; Fax: +41 22 734 08 59; Email: mission.turkey@ties.itu.int
 
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Turkey in your respective country.
 
***
Paris-Geneva, April 26, 2017
 
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
 
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and OMCT. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.
 
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
·       E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
·       Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
·       Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
 

[1]           Cizre has witnessed unprecedented destruction following clashes which took place during a curfew lasting over 78 days, at the beginning of 2016. In a statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein urged in particular “the Turkish authorities to respect the fundamental rights of civilians in its security operations and to promptly investigate the alleged shooting of a group of unarmed people”. See: Turkey: Zeid concerned by actions of security forces and clampdown on media, February 1, 2016, available at: