Şebnem Korur Fincancı was born in Istanbul in 1959. After studying medicine at the University of Istanbul, she worked as a forensic doctor and is currently professor of forensics at the University of Istanbul. She is chairwoman of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), a leading international expert on torture documentation, a former member of the executive committee of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and one of the main authors of the "Istanbul Protocol", the international standard work on the investigation and documentation of traces of torture. Fincancı has been working for many years under the most difficult political conditions for the documentation of torture and the rehabilitation of torture victims and is one of the leading peace and human rights activists in Turkey. She was arrested in her capacity as president of the TIHV in her home country on charges of propaganda for a terrorist organisation.
Şebnem Korur Fincancı devoted herself with great commitment to the documentation and clarification of torture and human rights violations. With her work she shows the high importance of evidence-based medical research for the realisation of peace, reparation and constructive conflict management. Her work focuses in particular on the question of how physical and psychological torture can be recognized and documented. This is not only of utmost importance for adequate medical and therapeutic care of the victims, but also a prerequisite for legal prosecution and political processing of the crimes. Only the systematic detection of traces of torture creates the prerequisite for the preservation of peace and the hope of reconciliation. Şebnem Korur Fincancıs work on the "Istanbul Protocol", which has created international standards for the investigation and documentation of torture.
The Hessian Peace Prize was established on 16 October 1993 by former Hessian Prime Minister Albert Osswald and the foundation he established. It is awarded to people who have rendered outstanding services to international understanding and peace. Each year, a prize winner selected by the Hessian Peace Prize Board of Trustees receives the prize endowed with 25,000 euros. The PRIF advises the Board of Trustees on the selection and documents the award ceremony.