Turkish Medical Association chief has been convicted of terror charge

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By Euronews  with AP
Turkish Medical Association President Dr Sebnem Korur Fincanci talks to journalists after being released from Bakirkoy women's prison in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Turkish Medical Association President Dr Sebnem Korur Fincanci talks to journalists after being released from Bakirkoy women's prison in Istanbul on Wednesday.   -   Copyright  Emrah Gurel/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

An Istanbul court convicted the president of the Turkish Medical Association on Wednesday of disseminating “terror organisation propaganda” following a trial that human rights groups had denounced as an attempt to silence government critics.

Dr Sebnem Korur Fincanci was sentenced to nearly three years in prison but the court also ruled to release her from pre-trial detention while she appeals the verdict.

Fincanci, 63, was arrested in October and charged with engaging in propaganda on behalf of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The arrest followed a media interview in which she called for an independent investigation into allegations that the Turkish military used chemical weapons against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

Fincanci is the latest activist to be convicted under Turkey’s broad anti-terrorism laws. As a forensic expert, she has spent much of her career documenting torture and ill-treatment and has served as president of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey.

During her trial, Fincanci rejected accusations that she engaged in propaganda during the interview, arguing that she gave a professional opinion.

“Of course, as physicians, we will prioritise human health,” she said, speaking to reporters outside prison following her release.

“We will be against wars and we will do our best to prevent all kinds of weapons, to prevent their use, to eliminate them.”

For more, watch Euronews' report in the video above.