A group of lawyers have opened a banner of “Fair trial is a right, accept their demands” for lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal, who have been on a death fast in prison for their right to a fair trial.

Lawyer protested for death-fasting arrested lawyers Aytaç Ünsal and Ebru Timtik by opening a banner at Ankara Courthouse yesterday (July 8).

Having staged first a hunger strike for their right to a fair trial, then turned it into a death fast, Ebru Timtik has been on a death fast for 189 days while Aytaç Ünsal has been death fasting for 158 days as of today.

‘Accept their demands’

As reported by the Mezopotamya Agency (MA), the lawyers opened a banner for their arrested colleagues and said, “Fair trial is a right, accept their demands. Reading out a statement for the press on behalf of the lawyers, lawyer Ayşegül Çağatay briefly stated the following:

“These days are now critical for their health. Timtik, Ünsal and our 16 colleagues were tried based on anonymous witness statements without taking even the simplest provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure into account and the have been sentenced to 159 years in prison in total.

“But what are they charged with? They face charges because they performed their professional activities, because they followed up the proceedings of their detained clients, because they reminded their clients of their right to remain silent and attended statements for the press.

“No to attacks against the defense on the street, at the courthouse and in the Parliament. When we say ‘No’ to multiple bar associations, we know that the attacks targeting the defense started with the detention, arrest and torture of our several colleagues by citing their professional activities as the reason.

“Today, lawyers are investigated because they documented torture. So, we know that the demand of Ebru and Aytaç for a fair trial is the demand of us all. The demand for justice raised by Ebru and Aytaç is our demand. Let’s raise our voices for them before it is too late. Let’s raise their demands. Fair trial is a right. Accept their demands. May Ebru and Aytaç live.”

The statement ended in applause and slogans of “Defense has not hushed and it will not,” “Defense will not surrender”, “Ebru, Aytaç are our honor.”

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 – 08.07.2020

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