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THE family of hunger-striking jailed lawyer Ebru Timtik have issued an urgent appeal for international solidarity as fears for her health grow after 143 days without food in a Turkish prison.
They said that Ms Timtik had struggled to speak at the last meeting with her legal team and had been diagnosed with arthralgia, an inflammation of joints that can be associated with infections.
Lawyers applied for her release on medical grounds last week amid fears that Covid-19 could spread in the prison.
But the request was refused, despite her ailing health, as the government deems her a terrorist linked to the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front.
Ms Timtik was sentenced to 13-and-a-half years in prison and fellow hunger striker Aytac Unsal was jailed for 10 years following a deeply flawed and highly politicised trial in March 2019.
The pair are demanding a fair trial, maintaining that their convictions were based on evidence supplied by anonymous witnesses and an unreliable state informant.
Ms Timtik’s family said in a statement: “We have learned that her health condition is getting worse. She could hardly finish a sentence during her last lawyer visit and she has arthralgia.
“We also follow the situation in Silivri prison with great concern. The Covid-19 pandemic has been reported to be spreading there, but no measures have been taken.”
Ms Timtik and Mr Unsal are both members of the People’s Law Association and have acted in many community cases, including the Soma mining disaster and that of Berkin Elvan, a 14-year-old Kurdish boy who died after being shot by police during the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Istanbul.
“Their crime is that they are on the side of the oppressed class, which is subjected to injustice… We can only make our children live if we embrace them and raise their voices,” the family statement concluded.
Letters can be sent to: Aytac Unsal, No 1 F-Type Prison, Burhaniye, Balikesir, Turkey and Ebru Timtik, Silivri Prison, Istanbul, Turkey.
A petition has been launched supporting their demand for a fair trial. People can send their name, job and location to email@example.com.
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