Presidents of several Turkish bars visit Ebru Timtik and Aytac Ünsal
On 18 August, a group of presidents of Turkish bar associations have visited lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytac Ünsal in the hospitals they are being held. Shortly after, they held a joint press conference. At the conference they have shared their own messages for Ebru Timtik, Aytac Ünsal and the government. They also brought messages from the international lawyers’ organisations too.
Lawyers for Lawyers President Irma van den Berg also wrote a message:
“Dear Ebru and Aytaç,
Lawyers for Lawyers, and me personally, started coming to Turkey 8 years ago to monitor trials against lawyers, our colleagues. Ever since then it has been hard and painful to watch what happens to lawyers in Turkey who dare take up cases of people considered (alleged) terrorists or opponents of the government. Or if they dare to speak out about violations of human rights, or the importance of the rule of law.
It has been hard and painful to see our colleagues being treated like criminals. So many have been investigated and prosecuted. So many have been in prison, deprived from normal life with their families and friends. We have seen the hard work that our colleagues in Turkey are doing and keep on doing, despite all the sacrifices and the risks, because their clients need them. We observed the CHD-trials and were appalled by the outcome of the second trial.
Now, it is hard and painful to hear about the death fast you have embarked on and the deterioration of your health. We are very concerned and we do not want you to die.
We know you do this to protest the lack of justice in Turkey and to strengthen your demand for a fair trial. Not just for yourselves, but for every citizen in Turkey and around the world. We want you to know: your message is heard, loud and clear. We support your message unequivocally. We are spreading it, together with colleagues from all over the world. This is not just your problem, or Turkey’s problem, this is universal. The rule of law needs to be respected everywhere and every citizen in the world needs to have access to a fair trial. We will keep fighting for that.
We urge the Turkish authorities to respond to your demands and make sure that your case is decided in accordance with the right to a fair trial. And we urge the Turkish authorities to immediately release you and your colleagues in this case, so you can await the outcome of the appeal in freedom. Justice demands it.
I hope we will meet again soon.
Irma van den Berg
President of the Board of Lawyers for Lawyers
Other organizations delivering messages were the CCBE, FBE, Italian National Bar Council, French National Bar Council, Pistoia Bar, Tulin Bar, Rotterdam Bar, and Tony Fisher. The main message was to release Ebru Timtik and Aytac Ünsal. The press conference can be viewed on the twitter account of the CHD: @chdgenelmerkez
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