Turkey’s top torture documentation expert, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, receives Hessian Peace Prize

Şebnem Korur Fincancı

Şebnem Korur Fincancı, a Turkish human rights defender and forensic doctor, was on Friday awarded the Hessian Peace Prize, given each year to an individual who rendered outstanding service to furthering mutual understanding among countries and peace.

The prize is presented by Albert Osswald Foundation in the German federal state of Hessen.

Korur Fincancı was granted the award for her efforts for the rehabilitation of torture victims as well as for the research and documentation of torture, a statement from the award committee said.

Korur Fincancı is chairwoman of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV), one of the first human rights organizations established in the country following the 1980 military coup. She is also a leading international expert on torture documentation and a former member of the executive committee of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT).

She is also co-writer of “Istanbul Protocol,” a universal work on standardizing investigation and documentation of traces of torture.

Turkish authorities on June 20, 2016, arrested her on charges of disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization, along with the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) representative Erol Önderoğlu and author Ahmet Nesin. The three had joined a solidarity campaign defending the editorial independence of Özgür Gündem, a paper aligned with Turkey’s Kurdish minority and frequently critical of the Turkish government.

Korur Fincancı and Önderoğlu were released after 10 days. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) was part of a global campaign advocating for their release.

Korur Fincancı was also awarded the “Human Rights Prize” by the Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) in 2017 and the Hrant Dink Prize in 2014. (SCF with Ahval)

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