Neuer Bericht Prozess gegen Dr. Serdar Küni vom 25.04.2017

Eine von Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al unab­hängige inter­na­tionale Beobachter­gruppe hat fol­gen­den Bericht veröf­fentlicht, auf den wir aus­drück­lich hin­weisen möcht­en. Er han­delt von dem besorgnis­er­ren­gen­den Prozess gegen Dr. Ser­dar Küni von der türkischen Menschenrechtsstiftung:


Tri­al of Dr. Ser­dar Küni,

Şır­nak 2nd heavy penal court

Case no: 2017/230


25 April 2017


State­ment of Inter­na­tion­al Del­e­ga­tion of Tri­al Monitors


[Cizre, Turkey] Dr. Ser­dar Küni, a med­ical doc­tor work­ing in the Cizre office of Human Rights Foun­da­tion Turkey, was con­vict­ed of sec­tion 220/7 of the Turk­ish Penal Code, “aid­ing and abet­ting ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions”, on 24 April 2017 dur­ing the sec­ond hear­ing of his trial.


The court sen­tenced Dr. Kuni to four years, two months impris­on­ment, but released him from prison pend­ing his appeal.  No writ­ten judg­ment to explain the rul­ing is yet available.


The charges were based on alle­ga­tions that Dr. Kuni pro­vid­ed med­ical treat­ment in a secret loca­tion to indi­vid­u­als who were said to belong to a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion dur­ing the clash­es in Cizre between 2015 and 2016. His arrest, deten­tion and pros­e­cu­tion is part of  a wave  of arrests, dis­missals and oth­er legal actions tak­en against human rights defend­ers, med­ical pro­fes­sion­als, lawyers, jour­nal­ists, and aca­d­e­mics since July 2015 in the south­east, and through­out Turkey after the failed mil­i­tary coup in July 2016.


We, mem­bers of the inter­na­tion­al del­e­ga­tion observ­ing the court on 24 April mon­i­tored this tri­al because of con­cerns about the tar­get­ing of mem­bers of the med­ical pro­fes­sion for car­ry­ing out their pro­fes­sion­al respon­si­bil­i­ties. Our role, as pre­sent­ed to the Court in advance, was to observe the extent to which inter­na­tion­al fair tri­al stan­dards enshrined in inter­na­tion­al law and bind­ing on Turkey, were applied.


Our  con­clu­sions are that the tri­al pro­ceed­ings ignored the most basic of inter­na­tion­al fair tri­al stan­dards, and failed to take into account the arbi­trary nature of the charges against Dr. Küni. Our prin­ci­pal con­cerns about the tri­al process are sum­marised below.


  • Arbi­trary arrest and deten­tion: Dr. Küni was accused and ulti­mate­ly con­vict­ed for pro­vid­ing med­ical treat­ment to patients. How­ev­er, doc­tors can­not refuse to treat patients on the basis of their known or per­ceived affil­i­a­tions; a doc­tor is eth­i­cal­ly bound to treat indi­vid­u­als who require med­ical treat­ment. To deny med­ical treat­ment would have forced Dr. Küni, to breach fun­da­men­tal aspects of the code of med­ical ethics, recog­nised worldwide.


  • The admis­si­bil­i­ty of evi­dence: The evi­dence pre­sent­ed by the pros­e­cu­tion was lim­it­ed to state­ments which should have been deter­mined to be inad­mis­si­ble by the Court.


  • Use of anony­mous wit­ness­es: The pros­e­cu­tor, in his open­ing state­ment referred to ‘evi­dence’ pro­vid­ed by anony­mous wit­ness ‘Vatan’. As this wit­ness was nev­er pro­duced in Court, there was no way for the defence to test the verac­i­ty of what was alleged, to know the con­di­tions under which the evi­dence was tak­en, or indeed to con­firm that ‘Vatan’ was a real per­son. Fur­ther­more, the infor­ma­tion con­tained in the state­ment of ‘Vatan’ as sum­marised by the pros­e­cu­tor, appeared to relate to alle­ga­tions con­cern­ing events in 2012, which were out­side the time­frame of the charges set out in the indictment.


  • Use of evi­dence alleged­ly pro­cured by tor­ture: the oth­er wit­ness evi­dence con­cerned four indi­vid­u­als each of whom alleged that they were forced to sign con­fes­sions under tor­ture. Med­ical reports pro­duced by the pros­e­cu­tion to demon­strate that the con­fes­sions were vol­un­tary were con­tra­dict­ed by a med­ical expert, who point­ed to numer­ous flaws and incon­sis­ten­cies. No fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion of the tor­ture alle­ga­tions is known to have tak­en place, despite Turkey’s oblig­a­tions to do so under the Con­ven­tion Against Tor­ture and the Euro­pean Con­ven­tion on Human Rights.


  • Reliance on hearsay evi­dence: the state­ments pro­duced by the four wit­ness­es appeared from the prosecutor’s sum­ma­ry to con­sist whol­ly of hearsay evi­dence against Dr. Küni. For exam­ple, the state­ments appar­ent­ly includ­ed qual­i­fi­ca­tions such as “we have heard through our con­tacts” that Dr. Küni was treat­ing such patients. The pros­e­cu­tor ten­dered no direct evi­dence by any witness.


  • Proof beyond a rea­son­able doubt: There was a lack of evi­dence put for­ward by the pros­e­cu­tor. Nonethe­less they took the deci­sion to con­vict Dr. Küni. This con­tra­venes the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple of the pre­sump­tion of inno­cence; a con­vic­tion should result only when the evi­dence of guilt is beyond a rea­son­able doubt.


Dr. Küni was on tri­al as a sin­gle doc­tor, but the man­ner in which the legal pro­ceed­ings were con­duct­ed have poten­tial­ly wide-rang­ing impacts. Through this case, the pros­e­cu­tion has sought to crim­i­nalise the basic duties and ethics of the pro­fes­sion, which is in and of itself an act of intim­i­da­tion and harass­ment. We are con­cerned about the prece­dent this case will set across the med­ical pro­fes­sion. Our con­clu­sions about fun­da­men­tal fair tri­al vio­la­tions also call into ques­tion the impar­tial­i­ty and inde­pen­dence of the judges in this case. 



On behalf of:


Gun­nar M. Ekelove-Sly­dal, Nor­we­gian Helsin­ki Committee

Car­la Fer­st­man, REDRESS

Ernst Lud­wig Iske­nius, Ger­man Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion and Inter­na­tion­al Physi­cians for the Pre­ven­tion of Nuclear War-Ger­many (IPPNW)

Bar­bara Nep­pert, IPPNW, Euro­pean section

Andreas Speck, War Resisters’ Inter­na­tion­al (WRI), La Transicionera