Jailed Turkish Lawyer Ebru Timtik dies on 238th day of Hunger Strike

Jailed Turkish Lawyer Ebru Timtik lost her life in the hospital on the 238th day of her death fast demanding a fair trial.

Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal, another lawyer on a death fast together with her, were forcibly hospitalized on July 30 after the court refused to release them despite a Forensic Medicine Institution report stating that they were “not in a state to stay in prison.

The People’s Law Bureau announced her death on Twitter at 9.04 p.m. About half an hour ago, it had said that Timtik’s heart stopped and doctors were doing cardiac massage.

The last photo of Timtik in the hospital room for prisoners. 

Timtik’s condition further deteriorated lately, to an extent that she could only sip water from a syringe, attorney Betül Vangölü-Kozağaçlı told bianet yesterday (August 26).

In the trial of the Proggrssive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD), Timtik was sentenced to 13 years 6 months in prison last March for “terrorism-related” offenses based on statements by a witness, who later stated that his testimony shouldn’t be taken into account due to his mental condition. Together with Timtik, the court sentenced 18 ÇHD lawyers to a total of 159 years in prison.

The appeals court, which upheld the lawyers’ sentences in October 2019, was revealed to give the verdict without reviewing lawyers’ appeal.

After this trial process, Timtik and Ünsal started hunger strikes on January 2 and February 2, respectively, and eventually turned their strike into a death fast. Ünsal is still continuing his death fast.

Lawyers and rights defenders from Turkey and around the world have been for months urging the authorities to meet the lawyers’ demands.

The trial and death fast of the lawyers

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 the 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.

CLICK – Court of Appeals Upholds 159-Year Prison Term for Progressive Lawyers Association Members

Lawyer Ebru Timtik, an executive of the ÇHD, and lawyer Aytaç Ünsal, a member of the ÇHD, went on a death fast for the right to a fair trial on January 2 and February 2, respectively.

The İstanbul Forensic Medicine Institution released its first report on the health conditions of death-fasting arrested lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal on July 30 and, for both of them, the Forensic Medicine Institution said that “it was not suitable for them to stay in prison.”

After this report was issued in early morning hours, the attorneys of Timtik and Ünsal submitted a petition to İstanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court, presenting both this medical report and their request for release. 152 petitions written by lawyers abroad and petitions signed by dozens of lawyers in Turkey requesting their release were also added.

Examining the application of the attorneys, the İstanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court has ruled that the arrest of lawyers Timtik and Ünsal shall continue. The court has also ruled that “a writ shall be written to the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office so that the necessary can be done to urgently ensure their medical follow-up and treatment in hospital conditions.”

Shortly after the court’s ruling, the lawyers were hospitalized. Previously in Silivri Prison, Timtik was taken to at Dr. Sadi Konuk Training and Research Hospital in Bakırköy district and Ünsal was taken to Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital in Küçükçekmece district from Burhaniye Prison.

Their attorneys submitted an appeal to İstanbul 38th Heavy Penal Court against the rejection of the release request.

The ÇHD lawyers’ case is currently in the examination at the 16th Penal Chamber of the Court of Cassation.

 

Arab Observer

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