U.N. experts call for release of Turkish medical association head

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[1/2] People outcry slogans arsenic they stitchery to protestation the detention of the caput of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), Sebnem Korur Fincanci, implicit statements she made past week successful which she commented connected alleged chemic weapons' usage by the Turkish equipped forces successful Istanbul, Turkey, October 26, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

GENEVA, Nov 8 (Reuters) - United Nations experts called connected Ankara to merchandise the caput of Turkey's aesculapian association, who was arrested aft she called for an probe into allegations of chemic weapons utilized by the Turkish army.

Sebnem Korur Fincanci was jailed pending trial past period connected charges of "spreading violent radical propaganda". Rights defenders said this was meant to soundlessness her.

President Tayyip Erdogan strongly denied the accusations she made connected media adjacent to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant radical and said ineligible enactment would beryllium taken against anyone making specified allegations.

Five peculiar rapporteurs from the U.N. Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council said connected Tuesday that Turkey should halt utilizing counter-terrorism authorities to intimidate quality rights defenders and merchandise Fincanci.

"We person documented galore cases wherever counter-terrorism authorities and different transgression provisions person been utilized to harass, arrest, detain and convict civilian nine actors successful Türkiye, including Dr. Fincanci, connected spurious grounds," they said.

"Human rights defenders and aesculapian practitioners' quality to talk information to powerfulness indispensable beryllium protected. Their relation successful exposing quality rights violations is 1 of the cornerstones of antiauthoritarian societies," they added.

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), which represents doctors and campaigns to forestall equipped violence, published a report past period seeking autarkic probe of imaginable violations of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention by the Turkish military.

Turkey's defence ministry and apical officials besides said the equipped forces had ne'er utilized chemic weapons successful their operations against Kurdish militants.

The PKK launched an insurgency against the Turkish authorities successful 1984 and much than 40,000 radical person been killed successful the conflict. It has been designated a violent radical by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.

Reporting by Emma Farge successful Geneva; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Ed Osmond

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