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Vigils continue for hunger-striking lawyers in Turkey in support of their fight for justice

VIGILS are continuing for hunger-striking lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytac Unsal in support of their demand for a fair trial after being jailed by the Turkish state in a sham process last year.

Didem Baydar Unsal, a lawyer and the wife of Mr Unsal, insisted that she would not stop fighting for justice “whatever happens.”

“We are not only resisting for ourselves. This injustice is imposed on all of our people. There is no doubt that our resistance will give rise to new struggles. Our victory will be added to our people’s victories,” she said.

Ms Timtik and Mr Unsal were among a group of 19 lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (CHD) sentenced to a total of 159 years in a flawed trial that relied on evidence from an unreliable state informant and anonymous witnesses.

The jailing was welcomed by Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who accused the lawyers of membership of the banned Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). He said their imprisonment had “neutralised the organisation.”

Ms Timtik has been on hunger strike for 177 days (as of Saturday) while Mr Unsal is on the 146th day of his fast. Fears are growing for the health of the pair, who also remain at high risk of contracting Covid-19.

Earlier this week jailed former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, also a lawyer, appealed directly to Justice Minister Abdullah Gul to intervene.

“Aside from all the politics please do not let humanity die. For the first time, I ask a politician for our colleagues. Please deal with the issue in person. Let Ebru Timtik and Aytac Unsal live,” he said in a Twitter post.

Ms Timtik’s uncle Yildirim Demir said that they did “not want to sacrifice their children to injustice.”

*FOR ONLINE*

Letters can be sent to: Aytac Unsal, No 1 F-Type Prison, Burhaniye, Balikesir, Turkey, and Ebru Timtik, Silivri Prison, Istanbul, Turkey.

A petition supporting their demand for a fair trial can be signed by emailing savunmayaozgurluk@gmail.com with your name, location and role.

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