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The Pres­i­dent of Turkey’s Union of Med­ical Doc­tors (TTB) Şeb­nem Korur Fin­cancı will be before the judges of Istan­bul’s 42nd tri­bunal on Feb­ru­ary 16 2021 at 12h00, this time for her ‘shar­ing’s on social media. This is the deci­sive hearing.

As a reminder, Şeb­nem Korur Fin­cancı is among the peo­ple relent­less­ly pur­sued notably for tak­ing part in the cam­paign “Chief edi­tors on duty” for the news­pa­per Özgür Gün­dem, since pro­hib­it­ed and shut down by decree. Şeb­nem Korur Fin­cancı, Erol Önderoğlu, rep­re­sent­ing Reporters with­out bor­ders (RSF) in Turkey and the writer Ahmet Nesin have already been acquit­ted by the local court in the tri­al opened against them. After annulling the recent acquit­tals, the Court of Appeals has decid­ed to judge them again in the Özgür Gün­dem tri­al. On Feb­ru­ary 3rd last, the first hear­ing opened before the 13th Penal Court in Çağlayan.

On Feb­ru­ary 12, in a writ­ten press release, lead­ers of the Turk­ish Foun­da­tion for Human Rights (TIHV) called on sol­i­dar­i­ty with Şeb­nem Korur Fin­cancı who is the for­mer Co-Pres­i­dent of the orga­ni­za­tion. They also announced that “the orga­ni­za­tion will be present at the hear­ing and will hold a press con­fer­ence at 11h00 in front of the Court building.”

Excerpts from the press release:

Şeb­nem Korur Fin­cancı is a deter­mined defendor of human rights, an excel­lent med­ical doc­tor and sci­en­tist.

Using all of her knowl­edge, she has pro­ceed­ed to an objec­tive and sci­en­tif­ic crit­i­cism of the prac­tices of those hold­ing polit­i­cal pow­er, in the area of human rights and health, attempt­ed to bring to light and to pre­vent vio­la­tions of rights, and fought in par­tic­u­lar against tor­ture, ill trea­ment and impuni­ty.

In the same way as her work met with much suc­cess dur­ing her pres­i­den­cy of the TIHV, she is now attempt­ing to pro­tect the health and the rights of soci­ety as Pres­i­dent of the Cen­tral Coun­cil of the Union of med­ical doc­tors of Turkey.

Because of these activ­i­ties she has been the sub­ject of numer­ous judi­cial attacks, pros­e­cut­ed, arrest­ed. One tri­al opened against her for items she shared on social media is now reach­ing its cul­mi­na­tion.

The defense of human rights, the voice of con­science which is the sole wit­ness to real­i­ty, con­firms real­i­ty and resists before tyran­ny in order to bring it to light, can­not be pun­ished.

We are by Şeb­nem Korur Fin­cancı’s side!

Those in pow­er in Turkey are wor­ried by the protests that are ongo­ing despite the repres­sion. The cur­rent mobi­liza­tion among young uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, and on a back­ground of eco­nom­ic crises, does noth­ing to make improve mat­ters for them. This is why repres­sion is ongo­ing. The AKP/MHP tan­dem reign­ing as a car­tel sur­round­ing the Pres­i­dent is per­ma­nent­ly search­ing for fresh “news” in order to keep the upper hand, such as demon­strat­ed by the far-out debates on relaunch­ing Turkey’s space con­quest, or, more seri­ous­ly, open­ing new con­sti­tu­tion­al reforms before the next elec­tions, while await­ing to dis­cov­er how rela­tions will play out with the elect­ed Amer­i­can President.

At a time when those in pow­er sense they will have prob­lems in win­ning by plebiscite, police and judi­cia­ry machin­ery pur­sue their attacks against the oppo­si­tion. This mis­use of jus­tice, inval­i­dat­ing pro­nounced acquit­tals and refus­ing to acknowl­edge inter­na­tion­al deci­sions call­ing for the lib­er­a­tion of per­son­al­i­ties such as Osman Kavala or Sela­hat­tin Demir­taş, demon­strates a tough­en­ing of Turk­ish auto­crat­ic pow­er, tak­ing large advan­tage of Euro­pean polit­i­cal cowardice.

This does not augur well for Şeb­nem Korur Fincancı.


Şeb­nem Korur Fin­cancı, is one of the three women fea­tured in this doc­u­men­tary. (Trail­er in Italian)

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.