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Şebnem Korur Finçancı

Şebnem Korur Finçancı is a prominent Turkish forensic scientist and president of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey. On June 20, 2016, she and two prominent journalists—Ahmet Nesin and Erol Őnderoğlu—were detained, pending investigation, in connection with their alleged involvement in making terrorist propaganda. Before appearing in court, they were questioned by the Prosecutor on Terror and Organized Crime about their participation in a peaceful campaign in support of press freedom together with 41 other activists and journalists. As part of this campaign, Dr. Finçancı and the other activists and journalists each symbolically acted as editor-in-chief, for a day, of Őzgür Gündem, a newspaper devoted to Kurdish issues that was under pressure from the authorities. The three were subsequently indicted on charges of “making terrorist propaganda through the press,” “provoking commission of an offense,” and “praising the offense and the offenders” under Turkey’s Anti-Terror Law. On June 30, 2016, Dr. Finçancı and Mr. Őnderoğlu were released pending trial. (Mr. Ahmet was conditionally released the following day.) Their trial began in November 2016 and is ongoing. If convicted, each faces a prison sentence of up to 14 years.