Statement of Solidarity: Freedom for Sebnem Korur Fincanci and all political prisoners in Turkish jails


Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network stands in solidarity with imprisoned Turkish academic and human rights defender Sebnem Korur Fincanci and demands her immediate release, and that of her colleagues.

Sebnem Korur Fincanci – the president of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, professor of forensic medicine at Istanbul University, and a longtime campaigner for rights and justice in Turkey, Palestine, and internationally – and her colleagues were arrested following their participation in a campaign of support for Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem, facing censorship.

For serving as “guest editor for a day,” prosecutors have initiated judicial investigations against 40 human rights defenders in Turkey for “propaganda for terror.” Fincanci and her colleagues were arrested in this context. Fincanci and her colleagues, Erol Önderoglu and Ahmet Nesin, were summoned to appear before prosecutors, immediately brought before a judge, and ordered arrested and held in custody.

Dr. Korur Fincanci is well known for her work on exposing torture and abuse against Palestinians in Israeli jails. Her forensic investigation confirmed the death from torture of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat on 23 February 2013 in Israel’s Megiddo prison. She participated in drafting the Istanbul Protocol, the UN’s authoritative “Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”

As Sebnem Korur Fincanci has consistently stood with Palestinian prisoners, demanding their rights and freedom, today we stand with her to demand her freedom and that of her colleagues.

We call upon the Turkish state to immediately release Korur Fincanci and her colleagues and drop all charges against them and their fellow guest editors of Özgür Gündem. We further demand an end to the ongoing “support for terror” and other political prosecutions against Kurdish and Turkish lawyers, journalists, academics and other human rights defenders; from the US to Palestine to Turkey, “terror” prosecutions are a means for state political repression, censorship, intimidation and targeting. Freedom for Sebnem Korur Fincanci and all political prisoners in Turkish jails!