Lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal not released
Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal from the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) in Turkey have been on a hunger strike for more than 5 months to support their demand for a fair trial. On 30 July, the Istanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court ruled that both lawyers should remain detained. However, they have been transferred to hospitals for medical care.
The two lawyers started their hunger strike in February 2020, in protest of the long jail sentences they have been sentenced to on charges of “membership of a terrorist organisation”. On 5 April 2020, Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal turned their hunger strike into a ‘death fast’.
On 27 July, the Istanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court ruled that Timtik and Ünsal should undergo a medical examination at the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institution. The Forensic Medicine Institution noted in their report on the health conditions of Timtik and Ünsal that it was not ‘suitable’ for them to remain in prison and that medical follow-up and treatment should be done in a hospital.
Consequently, the lawyers of Timtik and Ünsal submitted a petition to the Istanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court on 30 July. The petition included the medical report from the institution, their request for release, petitions signed by lawyers from Turkey and 150 petitions that were signed by international lawyers requesting their release.
On 30 July, the court denied the request for release and thus ruled that the detention of Timtik and Ünsal shall continue, citing their conviction on terrorism-related charges and the existence of a flight risk. The court requested the public prosecutor’s office to provide immediate medical care for Timik and Ünsal in a hospital. The lawyers of Timtik and Ünsal have filed an appeal against the court’s decision to not release the lawyers.
According to our information, Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal were taken to two different hospitals on 30 July. The hospital Ünsal is admitted to also has a corona unit, which could possibly bring along risks for Ünsal. Until now, their lawyers have been unable to visit them in the hospital.
Lawyers for Lawyers has previously reported and expressed concerns about the detention of Timtik and Ünsal. Lawyers for Lawyers remains deeply concerned about the continued detention of Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal.
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