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WPA issue statement following the arrest of Prof. Şebnem Korur Fincancı in October

The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) is deeply shocked by the arrest of Prof. Şebnem Korur Fincancı by the Turkish authorities on Wednesday, 26th of October 2022, and asks for her immediate release. Prof. Korur Fincancı, a medical doctor by training, is a highly respected forensic expert. She holds many prestigious offices nationally and internationally - she is President of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Survivors, Chair of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) and Chair of the Forensic Department of Istanbul University.

She has worked for the UN as an independent expert and she is also an author of the internationally acclaimed Istanbul Protocol, which is a UN manual on the effective investigation and documentation of torture and other degrading treatments.

She is a key member of the WPA Section on Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecution and has recently advised the WPA on projects in the Ukraine and Syria.

Professor Fincanci was arrested on October 26th on claims of supporting terrorists after she had publicly proposed that an independent investigation be conducted in the case of alleged use of poison gas in the region by the Turkish military. Such an attack on a medical expert, who acts solely out of respect for international human rights and works to the highest ethical standards, is without precedent.

The WPA, joins other national and international medical and human rights associations and calls for the immediate release of Prof. Şebnem Korur Fincancı.

Author: Prof. Afzal Javed, President WPA