Ebru Timtik honored with CCBE posthumous Human Rights Award

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) granted its 2020 Human Rights Award to seven Egyptian lawyers currently in prison and granted an exceptional posthumous Human Rights Award to Turkish lawyer Ebru Timtik who died in August 2020.

Lawyer Ebru Timtik, who died in August after months of hunger strike, has been posthumously awarded the Human Rights Award of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE). The prize is intended to honour the work of lawyers and lawyers' organisations who have shown special commitment and sacrifice in protecting fundamental rights. In addition, the award is considered a suitable medium to further sensitize the public to the core values of the legal profession. Seven imprisoned Egyptian lawyers have also been honoured by the CCBE this year.

“Ebru Timtik was a distinguished Turkish lawyer belonging to the Progressive Lawyers Association and the People's Law Office. Together with several other lawyers, she was victim of judicial harassment and was accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation under Turkey’s sweeping anti-terrorism laws. She did not receive a fair trial and was sentenced to 13 years and 6monthsin prison. Together with lawyer Aytaç Ünsal, she started a hunger strike in January 2020 to denounce their unfair trial as well as the unfair trial of several dozenTurkish lawyers. Ebru Timtik passed away on 27 August 2020,” said the CCBE announcement of the awards.

The Council of European Bars (CCBE) represents the Bars and Law Societies of 45 countries, and through them more than one million European lawyers.

Ebru Timtik, born in Elazığ in 1978 into an Alevi-Kurdish family from Dersim, died on August 27 after three years in Turkish custody and a 238-day death fast. With the hunger strike she demanded a fair trial. Together with other lawyers from the People’s Law Firm (HHB), including her sister Barkın, Timtik was arrested in September 2017 and two years later sentenced to thirteen and a half years in prison on terror charges. She was accused of connections to the DHKP-C, which is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, due to contradictory statements by a key witness. On September 15, the Turkish Court of Cassation reversed its decision in the case of the Timtik sisters. The case was referred back to a regional court of appeal for a new decision.

Tahir Elçi also awarded posthumously

The CCBE is the umbrella organisation of European lawyers' organisations, with its headquarters in Brussels. It represents the interests of approximately one million lawyers in Europe. Kurdish lawyer and co-founder of the Foundation for Human Rights in Turkey (TİHV), Tahir Elçi, who was shot by police officers in Amed (Diyarbakir) five years ago on November 28, was also posthumously awarded the CCBE Human Rights Prize in 2016.