Application to Constitutional Court for ‘immediate release’ of death-fasting lawyers

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  • 10:12 11 August 2020
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İSTANBUL - An application has been made to the Constitutional Court for the release of death-fasting arrested lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal. It has been noted that the lawyers are held in pandemic hospitals in conditions worse than prison.

An application has been made to Constitutional Court for death-fasting lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal, who are currently in hospital.
The application to the supreme court has underlined that "while they should have been released based on the reports prepared by the Forensic Medicine Institution, they are unjustly and unlawfully arrested and their health conditions are deteriorating in hospital conditions where they are held."
Within this context, the attorneys of Ünsal and Timtik have requested that the Constitutional Court write an official letter to the local court, ordering the release of arrested lawyers as a precaution.
The petition submitted to the Constitutional Court has listed the violated rights of Timtik and Ünsal as follows:
"The right to personal liberty and security as per the Article 19 of the Constitution; personal inviolability, corporeal and spiritual existence of the individual as per the Article 17 of the Constitution; the right to life as per the Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR); and the right to liberty and security as per the Article 5 of the ECHR."
Accordingly, the attorneys have requested 250 thousand lira in pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.
On a death fast in prison for their right to a fair trial, arrested lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytaç Ünsal were not released despite a Forensic Medical report indicating that "they were not in a state to stay in prison." Shortly afterwards, they were taken to two separate hospitals on July 30.
An objection was lodged against the ruling of the İstanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court, which ruled that death-fasting lawyers should remain behind bars.
However, the court rejected this objection, saying: "Considering that the ruling of continued arrest given for defendant Ebru Timtik and defendant Aytaç Ünsal on July 30, 2020 is in compliance with due process and the law, there is nothing to rectify in the ruling, the objection has been rejected..."
The objection to the rejection has been rejected as well.
On a death fast for 221 days as of today (August 10), Ebru Timtik is currently held in Dr. Sadi Konuk Training and Research Hospital in İstanbul. Death fasting for 190 days, Aytaç Ünsal is in Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital, which is also in İstanbul.
In the application submitted to the Constitutional Court today, it has been underlined that both lawyers are held in pandemic hospitals:
"It has been understood that, in these days when the number of COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers is rapidly increasing, third persons constantly enter the rooms in an unsupervised and uncontrolled manner in the name of security, cleaning and observation.
"Even though the clients do not request or accept treatment, they are still held in hospitals in pandemic conditions, facing the risk of infection."
Erol Güngör, a judge from the board of İstanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court, expressed a dissenting opinion to the rejection of the objection to the ruling of continued arrest. The application to the Constitutional Court has also referred to this dissenting opinion.
The application has noted that "the judge who knew the scope and content of the file and was in duty at their previous stage of the trial found the objection justified while the temporarily appointed judges ruled for the continuation of their arrest." According to the application, "even this situation alone proves the unlawfulness of the ruling given" about the lawyers.
The application to the Constitutional Court has also indicated that "he requests for release were rejected "with copy-paste expressions," adding that no concrete justification was put forward for their continued arrest:
"The court ruling for the continued arrest of lawyers, who are not in a state to stay in prison, is completely composed of copybook expressions and, as per the provisions of the ECtHR, the assertions in favor or against release in examination of arrest cannot be 'general and abstract'."

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