Urgent action letter to UN Special Rapporteurs about Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal
Seventeen organizations, Lawyers for Lawyers amongst them, have sent an urgent action letter to five United Nations Special Rapporteurs about the situation of lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal.
Human rights lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal have been on hunger strike since February 2020 to strengthen their demand for fair trials and the administration of justice in Turkey. On 5 April 2020, the Turkish Day of the Lawyer, Timtik and Ünsal announced that they would persist in their hunger strike even if it leads to their deaths. Their health is deteriorating quickly, and they are now being held in hospital.
Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal are part of a group of eighteen lawyers who have been convicted and sentenced to long-term imprisonment. They are all members of the Progressive Lawyers Association (Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği, ÇHD) and People’s Law Office (Halkın Hukuk Bürosu), known for their representation of clients who are considered opponents of the Turkish government. In a profoundly unfair trial, these lawyers have been sentenced to many years of imprisonment for alleged terrorist- related offences. Ebru Timtik has been sentenced to 13 years and 6 months and Aytaç Ünsal to 10 years and 6 months, both for membership of a terrorist organisation.
From the beginning of their trial, many incidents occurred that raised concerns about the impartiality and independence of the proceedings. On 20 March 2019, the judgement was delivered. An appeal to the Istanbul Regional Court of Appeal was rejected in October 2019. A further appeal before the Supreme Court is pending.
Joint letter to UN Special Rapporteurs
In the joint letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs, the organizations urge the Special Rapporteurs to intervene in the situation of Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsa, and raise the a number of issues concerning their situation, as a matter of priority, with the Turkish authorities. View the full letter here.
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