Haberal issue judiciary’s concern, says PM about Pakistani doctors’ letter

May 22, 2012, Tuesday/ 15:46:00/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said at a press conference in Pakistan that Professor Mehmet Haberal's release is up to the judiciary after a group of Pakistani physicians requested the release of the Turkish doctor, who is currently under arrest as part of an ongoing investigation into the Ergenekon terrorist organization.

A group of Pakistani doctors, led by Dr. Hasan Rizvi, wrote and signed an open letter to Prime Minister Erdoğan requesting Haberal's release. The Turkish prime minister received the letter during his visit to Pakistan.

The Turkish prime minister immediately replied to this demand at a press conference on Tuesday, stating that everyone should respect the decisions of the judiciary. He added that he does not pay much attention to local and international activists in regards to the Haberal issue. And implying that Haberal is jailed over his alleged link to a terrorist organization, Erdoğan said the Haberal issue is very serious.

The letter was printed in local newspapers during Erdoğan's visit and listed the good things Haberal has done in Pakistan. The letter read, “His trial was completed in 2010, but he has not been charged [and] his continuing incarceration has become a violation of human rights. Turkey, our brother country, has a strong tradition of democracy, justice and fair play. In the name of thousands of transplant patients in Turkey who were operated on by Professor Haberal and those who are deprived of his care.”

Rizvi concluded his letter saying, “Your Excellency please consider this a humble request for the sake of humanity.”

Haberal was arrested in 2009 on charges of belonging to a clandestine terrorist network known as Ergenekon. Despite his election as a deputy for the Republican People's Party (CHP) in the June 12, 2011 general elections he was not released from prison by the court, contrary to the CHP's expectations.

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