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MEDIA ADVISORY: Experts to Call for Release of Renowned Forensic Physician Ahead of Critical Hearing Friday


Local and international experts will host a press conference in Istanbul on Thursday to demand that President Erdoğan and Turkish authorities immediately release Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, a renowned human rights defender who has been arbitrarily detained since October.

On Friday morning, Dr. Fincancı’s hearing will take place before the İstanbul 24th Heavy Penal Court. The hearing will be attended by international trial monitors, including from Physicians for Human Rights, International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, and other global organizations.

Dr. Fincancı is a high-profile forensic pathologist who has worked at national and UN levels, including by leading global anti-torture initiatives. This marks the second time she has been unlawfully detained in the past six years by Turkish authorities. Dr. Fincancı’s arbitrary detention is part of a broader crackdown on civil society by Turkish authorities in advance of next year’s general elections.

We encourage you to attend the Thursday press conference and Friday hearing in-person or via livestream. The experts listed below are available for interview if it can support your reporting. Details here:


  • WHAT: Press conferencewith Turkish and international experts calling for Dr. Fincancı’s release
  • WHO: Speakers include Dr. Vedat Bülüt, Secretary General, Turkish Medical Association; Metin Bakkalcı, Secretary General, Human Rights Foundation of Türkiye, Erika Dailey, Director of Advocacy and Policy, Physicians for Human Rights; Additional speakers TBC
  • WHEN: Thursday, 22 December 2022, 17:30 IST (9:30 NYC)
  • WHERE: Istanbul Medical Chamber, Turkocagi Cad.No:9 Cagaloglu Istanbul
    • Live-streamed on the YouTube and Twitter of the Human Rights Foundation of Türkiye


  • WHAT: Hearing for Dr. Şebnem Fincancı before the İstanbul 24th Heavy Penal Court
  • WHO: Dr. Şebnem Fincancı, president of the Turkish Medical Association’s Central Committee, member of the Executive Board of the Human Rights Foundation of Türkiye
  • WHEN: Friday, 23 December 2022 at 09:30 IST (1:30 NYC)
  • WHERE: İstanbul 24th Heavy Penal Court, Cağlayan Court, Istanbul
    • Live-stream not available but press can attend in-person



  • Erika Dailey, Director of Policy & Advocacy, PHR;; +1 9172166964
  • Osman Isci, interpreter and academic; +90 5302334115


Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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