Human rights jailed in Turkey, literally!Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı, the President of the Human Rights Foundation and a member of the Turkish Medical Association's Committee on Human Rights, was arrested today in Turkey (source: Cumhuriyet and Turkish Medical Association).
Fincancı was one of the three people arrested in connection with a case involving the Turkish daily Özgür Gündem. Because of the pressures that Özgür Gündem journalists were under, a campaign was developed to share the responsibility of publishing the paper among intellectuals in Turkey. Volunteers were taking turns to serve as the paper's editor-in-chief in order to show solidarity with this newspaper that looks at the conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK from a different perspective than most news outlets in Turkey.
Today, three such volunteer editors-in-chief, Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı (an expert in forensic medicine), Ahmet Nesin (a journalist), and Erol Önderoğlu (a journalist who is also the representative of Journalists without Borders in Turkey) were on trial for news reports and images that were published on May 18, May 30, and June 7, days on which Önderoğlu, Korur, and Nesin acted as volunteer editor-in-chief, respectively. The prosecutor claims that these reports and images are terrorist propaganda. The judge decided to arrest the defendants and continue the trial while they are held in jail.
Other than being the president of the Human Rights Foundation and a member of the Turkish Medical Association's Committee on Human Rights, Professor Fincancı was one of the key figures who contributed to the Istanbul Protocol -- Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which is the first set of international guidelines for documentation of torture and its consequences, that became an official United Nations document in 1999.