On 28 November 2018, the Hessian Peace Prize 2017 was awarded to the Turkish physician Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı . With this award, the Board of Trustees acknowledged her persistent commitment to the victims of torture and human rights violations.
The forensic physician and professor of forensic medicine at the University of Istanbul is a leading international expert on torture documentation, a former member of the executive committee of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and one of the lead authors of the groundbreaking Istanbul Protocol, which has established international standards for the investigation and documentation of torture. Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı focuses her scientific work on the question of how physical and psychological torture can be detected and documented. Only the systematic identification of traces of torture enables adequate medical and therapeutic care for the victims. At the same time, it is of utmost importance for the legal prosecution and political processing of the acts, a prerequisite for the processes of conflict resolution and thus the basis for maintaining peace and hope for reconciliation.
February 8, 2019 - Şebnem Korur Fincancı was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment in Turkey on 19 December 2018. She is accused of "terror propaganda" because she signed the peace petition "We will not be a party to this crime" together with more than 1000 academics in 2016. There is currently still the possibility that the doctor will be acquitted by the Court of Appeal.
On February 7, 2019, the Hessian Parliament expressed its solidarity with Fincanci and criticised the imprisonment of journalists, scientists and democratically elected representatives in Turkey.