On 8 November, the IRCT Secretary-General Victor Madrigal-Borloz will join a large delegation of human rights defenders in Istanbul, Turkey to observe the trial of Professor Sebnem Korur Fincanci, president of the Human Rights Foundation Turkey (an IRCT member) and a member of the Independent Forensic Expert Group (IFEG).
Dr Fincanci was arrested in June 2016 for taking part in a solidarity campaign to defend the independence of the newspaper Ozgur Gundem, which is often critical of the government and aligned with Turkey’s Kurdish minority.
The arrest, detention and trial of Dr Fincanci is of serious concern to the IRCT and its membership and it takes place in an increasingly hostile environment towards all dissenting voices in Turkey. Sadly, Dr Fincanci’s arrest and resulting trial is just one example of the growing crackdown facing hundreds of independent professionals in exercise of their ethical duties, including doctors, forensic experts, other health professionals, journalists and academics.
The trial will test the ability of the Turkish judiciary to carry out its function independently and to uphold the principles in international human rights law to protect the right to fair trial and freedom of expression and association fundamental to a democratic society.
“The IRCT is deeply concerned by the treatment faced by Dr Fincanci and hundreds of other health professionals in Turkey who are exercising their right to free speech and association and carrying out their professional duties according to medical ethics. The global movement for the rehabilitation of torture victims stands with Dr Fincanci, her family and other colleagues in solidarity and support at this extremely difficult time,” says Mr. Madrigal-Borloz.
The IRCT and the Independent Forensic Group (IFEG) have signed a joint statement to President Erdogan on the unlawful charges against human rights defenders. To read the full statement please click here.