Turkish doctor sentenced to over four years in prison for treating wounded during 2016 Cizre curfews
A court in the southeastern province of Şırnak on Nov. 16 sentenced Dr. Serdar Küni, a medical doctor practicing human rights-based medicine in Cizre, to four years and two months in prison in a retrial. Küni is accused of treating the wounded in Cizre during 2016 curfews.
Dr. Serdar Küni, a physician and Cizre Representative of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV), has been sentenced to four years and two months in prison on terror charges in a retrial, online news portal Bianet reported.
The case against Küni was launched in 2016, with the physician facing charges of “aiding a terror organization.” He was accused of treating alleged members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) during the unrest in the southeast. In Cizre, hundreds of people were killed during the curfews that came into effect for military operations targeting PKK members.
On April 24, 2017, Küni was sentenced to four years and two months imprisonment. The physician, who had been detained since his arrest on Oct. 19, 2016, was subsequently released, pending the final decision of the Gaziantep Regional Court of Justice.
Many human rights organizations said at the time that Küni's conviction was based on arbitrary charges based on an anonymous testimony and signed statements obtained under torture.
The Gaziantep Regional Court of Justice reversed the local court's decision and ordered a retrial of the case in 2018.
On Nov. 16, the Şırnak 2nd Heavy Penal Court sentenced Küni to four years and two months in prison once again, this time for “membership in a terrorist organization.” Küni will take the decision to the Gaziantep Regional Court of Justice for a second time.
TİHV slammed the Şırnak 2nd Heavy Penal Court's decision, saying that the case does not cite any tangible evidence and the witnesses' testimonies were taken under torture.
"The environment of solidarity created in the national and international arena has shown that Dr. Serdar Küni is not alone...We believe that thanks to this powerful support and solidarity, in the next stage of the judiciary, the rule of law will have the upper hand, justice will be maintained and Dr. Serdar Küni will be acquitted," TİHV said in a statement.