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Medical volunteer in Turkey fighting for his life after being beaten by police

Medical personnel who have set up temporary facilities to help those injured in protests say they have been directly targeted by police.

Image: AP/PA

MEDICAL PERSONNEL ATTENDING recent civil unrest in Turkey have been the victims of police violence, according to a comment published in the Lancet today.

The authors, who wished to remain anonymous, said that one medical student who was volunteering is currently in intensive care after being “beaten by police”.

“He had told police that he was a doctor and trying to help, but they continued to beat him in front of my eyes,” they said.

Finding extremely limited ambulance access to protest areas in Istanbul, doctors and medical student volunteers set up temporary medical facilities to treat a wide range of injuries, including skull fractures and thoracic injuries from shooting of gas capsules from close range.

The authors said they are being prevented from helping those in need and furthermore, they are being targeted for it.

The police have also thrown tear gas inside the first aid stations and arrested the doctors and the volunteers on the service. They are now patrolling the streets at night and selectively breaking ground-floor windows of apartments and throwing tear gas into people’s homes. They have been joined by groups of AKP sympathisers with baseball bats.

“We are deeply concerned about what is going on in our country, but even more concerned that medical personnel and makeshift health facilities are being targeted by police,” they said.

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“Our lives are constantly in danger as human rights are abused on a daily basis.”

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