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Ebru Timtik’s cousin says hospital conditions worse than prison for hunger-striking Kurdish lawyer.

HOSPITAL is worse than prison for hunger-striking Kurdish lawyer Ebru Timtik, her cousin said today, alleging that she is being subjected to intense psychological pressure to end her protest.

Simal Deniz spent eight days at the Bakirkoy Sadi Konuk Hospital where Ms Timtik was taken by force last month as the Turkish state tries to break her resistance while refusing to meet her demands for justice and a fair trial.

Ms Deniz told the ANF news website that the light was deliberately left on at night and cold air was constantly blown into the room.

She explained that hospital staff were putting Ms Timtik under pressure to end her death fast, waking her to offer her food and encouraging her to take medicine.

“They are constantly manoeuvring to break her will. They're using every pretext,” she said.

But Ms Timtik is standing firm against the prospect of force-feeding, despite her health deteriorating after 225 days on hunger strike.

She was taken to hospital along with fellow hunger-striking lawyer Aytac Unsal on July 31, soon after a court had rejected their request for release despite a Forensic Medicine Institution report indicating that it was “not suitable for them to stay in prison.”

The Istanbul Medical Chamber said at the time: “We are reminding our colleagues: medical ethics do not allow forced intervention under any circumstances.”

Earlier this week, the chairs of 33 bar associations in Turkey demanded the lawyers’ release, saying it was “a responsibility for all those with consciences to keep Ebru and Aytac alive.”

Ms Timtik was sentenced to 13-and-a-half years in prison and Mr Unsal for 10 years following a deeply flawed and highly politicised trial in March 2019.

They were accused of being members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front.

The pair are demanding a fair trial, maintaining that their convictions were based on evidence supplied by anonymous witnesses and an unreliable state informant.


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