While arrested lawyer Ebru Timtik has been on a death fast for 200 days, Aytaç Ünsal has been on a death fast for 159 days. Having visited them in prison, lawyers say that Timtik has sores on her throat, Ünsal suffers from muscle loss. Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal… They are two arrested lawyers. They have been on a death fast for their right to a fair trial.

In 2017, the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) and People’s Law Bureau (HHB) were raided by the police, several lawyers were detained and arrested. Timtik and Ünsal were among them.

Charged with “membership of a terrorist organization” and “leading an organization,” 18 lawyers were sentenced to 159 years, 1 month, 30 days in prison in total. While Timtik was sentenced to 13 years, 6 months for “membership,” Ünsal was sentenced to 10 years, 6 months.

Having gone on a hunger strike for their right to a fair trial, Timtik has been on a death fast for 200 days as of today (July 10). As for Ünsal, has been death fasting with the same demand for 159 days. They are now approaching a life-critical point in their fast.

Their colleagues visited Timtik and Ünsal in prison. They have spoken to bianet about their health condition.

‘Ebru has black discoloration on her hands’

Oğuz Topalkara from the People’s Law Bureau (HHB) visited Ebru Timtik in Silivri Closed Prison. “Ebru has dropped to 43-44 kilos, she has serious black discoloration on her hands, looking like gangrene,” he has said.

Underlining that each passing day is of critical importance for the health condition of Timtik, Toplakara has continued as follows:

“Sores have started to appear on her throat. She could speak easily when I talked to her last week. But now she can speak for five minutes the most.

“After five minutes, she starts communicating by writing. She said her sores hurt a lot and that was why she had difficulty in taking water and sugar. We are not sure whether she can take enough water and sugar.”

‘They want the public to hear their voices’

Topalkara has also shared information about the medical health checks of Timtik: “She wants to be examined by physicians from the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) or Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV). We made an application for this, but it has been rejected. Doctors come from the hospital from time to time and examine her.

“She wants her demand for fair trial to be heard by the public. She said that she was very happy about every protest staged for them.”

‘Aytaç has muscle loss’

Lawyer Naim Eminoğlu from the HHB visited Aytaç Ünsal in Burhaniye Type T Prison on Monday (July 6). He has shared the following information:

“Aytaç has dropped to 60 kilos. We talked for three hours. He said that he was having problems such as fatigue and insomnia.

“As he was professionally engaging in sports in the past, he is now having both its advantages and disadvantages.

“His body is more enduring; however, he is suffering from a lot of muscle loss. That is why, he is having severe pain in his muscles, he said. He said that he was trying to do a little exercise to get rid of the pain.

“He was in good spirits. He was very conscious. He said that he wanted to live and felt very excited about everything that was done for them. He expressed his happiness about the resistance of bars. He is worried about Ebru Timtik. ‘I am fine, but hurry up for Ebru,’ he said.

“I, as a lawyer myself, want to call out to my colleagues. Let’s keep our colleagues alive, let’s raise our voices more for them.”

Prof. Biçer: They are now in a critical state

TİHV Executive Board member Prof. Ümit Biçer has also indicated that their death fast has reached a critical state. He has noted that lawyers need to take the necessary action for them as soon as possible and appeal to the Ministry of Justice for their demands for a fair trial.

Stating that a political power should also get involved, Biçer has said that they have to be given the right to be treated by physicians of their own choice so that both the public and they can be informed accurately.

“Hunger strike is not an act of suicide,” Prof. Biçer has emphasized and added, “The World Medical Association defines it as ‘a protest that people appeal to as a last resort to make their voices heard by the public.’ Their death should not be turned a blind eye. Each passing day is of utmost importance. A step needs to be taken as soon as possible.”

What happened?

Announcing its verdict in the lawsuit filed against ÇHD lawyers on March 20, the court ruled that the lawyers should be sentenced to 3 years, 1 month, 15 days to 18 years, 9 months in prison.

The 2nd Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice rejected the objections and sent the file to the Court of Cassation.

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Court of Cassation expressed opinion that the prison sentences of all lawyers, except for the one given to lawyer Barkın Timtik, be upheld.

The letter of notification only indicated that the prison sentence of 18 years, 9 months given to Barkın Timtik for “establishing and leading an organization” as per the Article 314/1 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) should be overturned and he should also be penalized for “membership of an organization” like other lawyers.

The letter of notification issued by the prosecutor’s office has been sent to the 16th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation.

Lawyer Ebru Timtik, an executive of the ÇHD, and lawyer Aytaç Ünsal, a member of the ÇHD, have gone on a death fast for the right to a fair trial.

Bianet – 10.07.2020

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