AIDL calls for the release of Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal

The International Alliance for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms called on the Turkish authorities to meet the legitimate demands of the hunger strikers, the only guarantee of their survival.

The International Alliance for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL) joined the campaign for the release of Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal, the two lawyers on death fast.

The AIDL called on all NGOs to do the same in the name of the right to life and the right to a trial fair.

Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal have been forcibly taken to hospital. The AIDL said that “little by little, the whole country is transformed into a prison, divided between hostages inside the city walls and those from outside who no longer dare to speak out.”

The AIDL said: “Ebru Timtik is now on his 225th day on a hunger strike. As for his colleague Aytaç Ünsal, he has not eaten for 194 days. Their only sources of energy are sugar and vitamin B1. These two lawyers are members of the Turkish Association of Progressive Jurists, Cagdas Hukukçular Dernegi (CHD), a human rights organization targeted by the regime for its courageous defense of the weakest in Turkey: victims of torture or extrajudicial executions, unfair dismissals, mining or ecological disasters.”

Like all political prisoners in Turkey, said the AIDL “Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal are being prosecuted for terrorism, a dreadful and murderous word that has been misused to criminalize defenders of the law guilty of exercising their profession. At each of their hearings, the elementary rules of a fair trial were flouted. At the end of their sham trial, Ebru Timtik was sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison and Aytaç Ünsal to ten years and six months in prison.”

The AIDL ended its statement by saying: “These two courageous lawyers are now threatened with force-feeding in hospitals in Istanbul where they are being held. Instead of curing them, such medical intervention would risk damaging their already fragile health. Therefore, we call on the Turkish authorities to meet the legitimate demands of the hunger strikers, the only guarantee of their survival.”

Reminding that “thirty-three Turkish Bars, several Turkish civil society associations such as the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD), the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TIHV), the Health Workers Union (SES) as well as dozens of lawyer associations and bars around the world support Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal’s fight for the right to a fair trial.”