German Foreign Office voices concern over Fincanci's arrest
Upon the arrest of the Turkish Medical Association's Chair Sebnem Korur Fincanci over "terror charges," the German Foreign Office expressed its concern, as it said on Thursday:
"We are worried about the arrest of Sebnem Korur Fincanci - a courageous and upright voice for human rights in Turkey. The allegations against her must now be promptly clarified, in accordance with the rule of law. Free speech is one of the most precious goods of any society."
Cem Ozdemir, member of the Bundestag and Germany's Minister of Food and Agriculture, released a message of solidarity with Fincanci. He said:
"Solidarity with Prof. Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci! The President of the Turkish Medical Association (TBB) called for an investigation to be carried out into whether the Turkish military uses chemical weapons in the fight against the PKK - now she herself has been arrested. Absurd! What is the Turkish government afraid of?"
Mary Lawlor, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, also reacted to Fincanci's detention as she earlier said:
"I'm deeply concerned by reports I'm receiving that leading Woman Human Rights Defender, Sebnem Korur Fincanci, has been arbitrarily taken into police custody in Turkey this morning. I will be following closely what happens in this case."
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), condemned Fincanci's arrest, saying on Wednesday:
"The Observatory strongly condemns Sebnem Korur Fincanci’s arbitrary arrest which seems to be only aimed at punishing her for her legitimate human rights activities and the exercise of her right to freedom of expression. The Observatory urges the authorities in Turkey to immediately and unconditionally release Sebnem Korur Fincanci and to put an end to the incessant judicial harassment and targeting she is subjected to."
It also said:
"The Observatory underlines that Sebnem Korur Fincanci’s arrest takes place as the authorities in Turkey are in the process of closing the Turkish Medical Association and replace her by a trustee."
Journalists and Writers Foundation said in protest over Fincanci's arrest:
"Turkey continues its mass detentions and imprison human rights advocates, journalists, to silence opposition views. Sebnem Korur Fincanci is an internationally recognized forensic expert standing up for the rule of law and democracy in Turkey. Depriving her freedom is not acceptable."