The IRCT is deeply concerned that Dr Şebnem Korur-Fincancı has been sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment for signing a petition for peace organized by a group of Turkish academics in 2016. As this decision is appealed, the IRCT urges the Turkish courts to demonstrate their independence and uphold the principles of rule of law and human rights in the country.
The IRCT Executive Committee, speaking on behalf of 161 rehabilitation centres across 74 countries, said “We are shocked and outraged by the sentencing of our colleague and friend Sebnem for exercising her right to free speech and for carrying out her professional duties according to medical ethics. The global movement for the rehabilitation of torture victims stands with Sebnem, her family and other colleagues in solidarity and support.”
The sentence happens in a context of growing political crackdown on hundreds of doctors, forensic experts, other health professionals, journalists and academics in Turkey for exercising their ethical duties. Only one week ago, Gençay Gürsoy, the former president of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA), was sentenced to 27 months in prison on similar charges as those laid against Dr. Fincanci.
Dr Fincanci is the president of the Human Rights Foundation Turkey, a member of the Independent Forensic Expert Group (IFEG) and a former member IRCT Executive Committee.
The IRCT is working with our colleagues in the international community to observe the trial hearings of Sebnem and others and to ensure continuous international attention on the judicial harassment and attempted silencing of health professionals in Turkey for exercising their professional duties. We will continue to stand together with our colleagues in Turkey in solidarity and support until all individuals there can enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination.