Lawyers demand release of their colleagues on death fast

Imprisoned lawyers on death fast, Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal have been transferred from Silivri prison to the forensic department. Colleagues in Istanbul demanded their immediate release.

Imprisoned lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal have been on death fast for months demanding a fair trial. On Wednesday morning they were transferred from the Silivri prison complex to the forensic department. In front of the court building in the Istanbul district Çağlayan colleagues demanded their immediate release.

In addition to the lawyers who have joined together as the " Coordination for Freedom for the Defence", members of the prisoners' aid organisation TAYAD and the father of Mustafa Koçak, who died on death fast in prison, also took part in the protest action.

On Monday, a court in Istanbul had accepted a motion to review the detention of Timtik and Ünsal. If the forensic medicine were to certify that Timtik and Ünsal are not fit for imprisonment, there would be no legal obstacle to their release.

Ebru Timtik, a lawyer of the left-wing association "People's Legal Office" (Turkish. Halkın Hukuk Bürosu"), has been on a death fast for 209 days now, and her colleague Aytaç Ünsal has refused any food intake for 178 days. With this action they demand a fair trial. Both were sentenced to long prison terms due to contradictory statements of a key witness. The statements of defector Berk Ercan have so far led to the arrest of almost 200 people. Among them were several members of the music band Grup Yorum and Mustafa Koçak, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment and died on 24 April after 297 days of hunger strike. All of them were sentenced under terrorism laws in the complex of trials against alleged members of the DHKP-C.

The appeal procedure for the review of the sentence against Timtik and Ünsal before the Court of Cassation in Ankara is still pending.