The 2011 International Medical Peace Award has been given to Prof. Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci for her courageous opposition to torture and human rights abuses. Dr Fincanci, who is a coroner, high school teacher and president of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey received the award in recognition of her outstanding medical peace work.
The 3,000 Euro prize was presented at the fourth International Congress of IPPNW-Germany, entitled ‘Medicine and Conscience’ on Friday 14 October. It was jointly awarded by the International Physicians for the Prevention of War, IPPNW and the International Medical Peace Work Network.
Dr Fincanci was recognised for her commitment to a justice and to medicine, and for her unstinting opposition to torture. She has been dismissed from her university department of forensic medicine, and reinstated several times. She is one of the founders of the Association of Forensic Medicine and has played an instrumental role in establishing the UN principles for the detection of torture, the Istanbul Protocol. She is one of the editors of a medical atlas which documents torture, translated into German and English in 2010.
In addition to her medical work for torture victims, Sebnem Korur Fincanci has publicly exposed - at personal and professional risk - cover-ups and shortcomings within the government. In 2009/2010, together with a journalist, she was indicted for denouncing the management of the Forensic Institute of the Medical Faculty of Istanbul. The manager had either not reported or had covered up instances of torture. For this, her license to practise was repeatedly withdrawn by the Turkish Medical Association.
Since 2009, Sebnem Korur Fincanci has been President of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) which treats people who have been tortured or suffered human rights violations.
"Her commitment, professionalism and perseverance sets an example to all those who are working to prevent violence and promote peace," said Dr. Matthew Happold, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Luxembourg.
For more information about the Congress ‘Medicine and Conscience’ see www.medizinundgewissen.de.
For information about "Medical Peace Work" see www.medicalpeacework.org
Conference organiser, Stephan Kolb: mobile 0172-8428233,
Spokeswoman, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War/Physicians in Social Responsibility, Angelika Wilmer: Berlin Mobil: 0162-205 79 43, Email: wilmen[at]ippnw.de, www.ippnw.de
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