Lawyers in Turkey are facing harsh repression. 18 lawyers, members of the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) in Turkey – an affiliate of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) were sentenced to total of 159 years in prison in March 2019, including Selcuk Kozagacli, a Bureau Member of IADL. They were tried and sentenced because they provided legal defense to political prisoners in Turkish jails. As we post today on 23 May 2020, Ebru Timtik has been on hunger strike to protest for 142 days, and her colleague Aytaç Ünsal for 111 days. Lawyers in Turkey are urging international support for a fair trial for their imprisoned colleagues.
Please sign the statement below to add your support!
Lawyers Aytaç Ünsal and Ebru Timtik started a hunger strike on 5 February 2020 for the right to a fair trial and turned their strike into a ‘death fast’ as of 5 April 2020. We are worried about their health and life.
As known to the public, 18 lawyers who were members of the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD) in Turkey were given a total of 159 years in prison in March 2019, as a result of a trial in which the judicial authorities profoundly violated their right to a fair trial including procedural guarantees and defense rights. During the trial, the judges who had decided to release the detained lawyers on pending trial in September 2018 were forced to reverse their own decisions and order their detention again. Those judges were then removed from the case and new judges were appointed to the bench. The judgment sentencing the lawyers, which was delivered quickly by the new bench after the new appointments and in which the professional activities of lawyers were considered as crime by the judges, is currently pending before the Court of Cassation (Yargıtay). As signatories to this call, we are concerned about the ongoing practice of politicization of the judiciary which has been prevailing in the current atmosphere in Turkey.
Underlining our responsibility to keep ÇHD lawyers alive, we invite all the State officials, including those at the Court of Cassation and the Ministry of Justice, to ensure that the right to a fair trial of all people is duly protected and to secure the conditions in which the ÇHD lawyers can be tried fairly, demands that are essential and necessary in a democratic State!
We call on everyone to support this call and endorse your signature for the right to a fair trial of ÇHD lawyers.
If you would like to sign this call, sign the form below or at https://bit.ly/turkeylawyersjustice or send an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, surname, profession and city & country of residence.