Şebnem Korur Fincanci is one of Turkey’s leading human rights activists and an internationally-recognized forensic expert. President of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, she is one of the authors of the Istanbul Protocol, the international standard for forensic investigation and documentation of torture. She began her anti-torture work in the 1990s, documenting cases of torture and writing about medical ethical obligations despite opposition and oppressive measures such as dismissals by the Turkish government. She has continually fought to ensure that the forensic medical department at Istanbul University would not become an arm of the state.
Fincanci was arrested in June 2016 and charged with making terrorist propaganda for her participation in a campaign supporting freedom of press. She was acquitted in July 2019, but the case file was sent to the appeal court and is still pending. In 2018, she was sentenced to two years and six months in prison on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" for having signed the Academics for Peace petition which called for an immediate end to the massacre and deportation of Kurds by the Turkish government. This was by far the longest sentence ever given to a petitioner. Fincanci has regarded this verdict as a "revenge of the Cizre Report", which she prepared as Chair of Human Rights Association of Turkey.
Fincanci is one of the protagonists of Terrorists, Zehra and the others (produced by Creative Nomads), an Italian documentary on the repression of the Turkish government.