International groups urge Turkey to immediately release Dr. Fincanci
The World Medical Organization (WMA), Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) called on Turkey to immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, a forensic expert who is behind bars over her remarks on Turkey’s chemical warfare allegations.
The accusations against Fincanci are unfounded and of a political nature, the four organizations said in a joint statement on Thursday, Bianet reported.
Fincanci, the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and a prominent human rights defender, was arrested in October on terrorism charges after commenting on allegations over Turkey’s using chemical weapons against Kurdish militants in Northern Iraq. In the first hearing of the case last week, an Istanbul court has ruled on the continuation of Fincanci's custody.
The medical and human rights organizations who expressed solidarity with Fincanci, also said that the investigation is being used as a tool of eliminating the autonomy of the TTB.
Following Fincanci’s detention, Turkish prosecutors prepared an indictment for her removal off the post and the dismissal of TTB’s Central Council members, predicting new appointments. Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag also announced that work is underway to remove “Turkish” from the name of TTB, in accordance with the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s instructions.
In the statement, the four organizations which invited the public authority to respect the freedom of expression of Fincanci, also said that attacks on the autonomy of professional organizations cannot be accepted.
In an interview with Media Haber during a live broadcast on Oct.20, Fincanci said "Obviously, one of the toxic chemical gases was used that directly affects the nervous system."
Sharing her examinations on the basis of the coverages posted in social media, showing PKK militants who were allegedly suffered from chemical weapon attacks, Fincanci also urged independent missions to investigate the incident within the scope of international treaties.
Following the interview, prosecutors in capital Ankara launched the probe into Fincanci on the grounds of “disseminating propaganda in favour of a terrorist organisation” and "insulting the Turkish nation, the state of the Republic of Turkey and its institutions.”
On Tuesday, the prosecutors started a new investigation into Fincanci on the grounds of “being a member of a terrorist organization”.
Fincanci’s trial will resume on Thursday.