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Letter from Inge Genefke, Chair of the WPA Section on Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecution, to Marianne Kastrup, Chair of the WPA Review Committee

To: Marianne Kastrup
WPA Review Committee Chair
Director of Centre for Transcultural Psychiatry,
Copenhagen University Hospital

Cc: Professor Ahmed Okasha

Copenhagen,16-09-2002

Dear Marianne,

Please find enclosed an urgent call regarding the tragic case of Turkish Psychiatrist Alp Ayan. Dr. Ayan is a prominent member of our WPA Section on Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecution.

I have personally known Dr. Ayan and his courageous work for more than 12 years. He is a pioneering psychiatrist at the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, Izmir, and is doing a very admirable work with rehabilitating torture victims as well as documenting torture.

Over the past eight years, Dr. Ayan has been harassed by the Turkish authorities, he has been threatened and imprisoned for several months.

I urge the WPA to officially support Dr. Ayan at this critical stage. Any pressure put on relevant Turkish authorities by the WPA is of extreme importance. Furthermore, the very presence of a WPA representative at the hearing of the trial on 2 October 2002 will have an enormous impact. The involvement of WPA in this case is crucial.

Sincerely yours,

Inge Genefke, MD DMSc h.c.
Chair of Section on Psychological Conseqences of Torture and Persecution

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