Lawyer Ebru Timtik died after 238 days of hunger strike in Turkey. She was one of 18 lawyers accused of participating in a terrorist organization.
Ebru Timtik has died in Silviri jail demanding a fair trial.
Friends informed the local news source that Timtik weighed only 30 kilograms on death in the hospital where she and her colleague Aytac Unsal had been taken in July after starting a hunger strike in Istanbul’s Silivri prison.
Police fired tear gas on the lawyer’s supporters who went a northern Istanbul cemetery chanting “Ebru Timtik is immortal” and the “murderous state will be held to account”.
Amnesty International’s Senior Campaigner on Turkey, who observed the trial hearing, said: “Today’s convictions are a travesty of justice and demonstrate yet again the inability of courts crippled under political pressure to deliver a fair trial.
“After more than a year in pre-trial detention for six of the lawyers, and three measly hearings marred by fair trial breaches, this politically motivated prosecution has reached its preposterous conclusion. These lawyers should be immediately and unconditionally released and the conviction quashed.”
International news sources said that TimTik was sentenced to 13 years 6 months in prison last March for “terrorism-related”. Eighteen other lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (ÇHD), were sentenced to a total of 159 years in prison.
Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal have begun a hunger strike on 2 January and 2 February, respectively.
The commission has called for urgent reforms. “Ebru Timtik’s hunger strike for a fair trial and its tragic outcome painfully illustrate the urgent need for the Turkish authorities to credibly address the human rights situation and serious shortcomings observed in the Turkish judiciary.
“A strong and independent legal profession, along with an independent judiciary, is a core principle of a fair justice system that upholds the rule of law and allows for the effective protection of human rights.
“The EU repeated on several occasions and we would like to recall also today that Turkey urgently needs to demonstrate concrete progress on the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, which are cornerstones of EU-Turkey relations.”