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Dear all,
I hope this email finds you well.
Today we woke up to a very bad news. Mustafa Kocak, a political prisoner, died of his ongoing
hunger strike (death fast) at the day 297. He was only 28 years old whose only demand was a
fair trial. He and his lawyer made it clear that his trial which was resulted in his aggravated
life-time imprisonment was not fair and his rights were not protected by the judiciary. His first
appeal was rejected by the regional appeal court. His case has been pending before the
Supreme Court of Appeal. His voice was not heard and got lost.
As you may know, another political prisoner lost her life few weeks ago, again from a hunger
strike (death fast). Her name was Helin Bolek (28). She was a member of a revolutionary music
band, Grup Yorum. The band’s all musical and cultural activities have been brutally banned
and prevented by the state forces for many years with its members continuously arrested,
imprisoned or pushed to live in exile. Her demand was the state to seize those oppressive
measures against the band and ‘let a Grup Yorum concert’ take place. It didn’t happen. Her
voice also got lost.
With two lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytac Unsal still on a similar hunger strike, our worries are
now increased more. Ebru is at day 113 and Aytac is 82nd (if I am not wrong). I know that the
situation we are all in right now is quite challenging with the isolation and other limitations.
And we tried to discuss and find ways few weeks ago on what to do. Also many of you sent
letters, released statements through your organisations.. But with more days passing,
questions become more apparent: should the legal community let the worse happen to these
two lawyers in Turkey? What else we could do to help? Mediate, appeal more strongly to our
governments, professional associations and the Turkish government, trying to put more
pressure, do more. All are our friends, colleagues.. They need us... Shall we have a serious talk
and try to draw an action plan? Or anything else you recommend.
I know no one here would think otherwise but I wanted to indicate anyway. This way of
resistance might not be a way we all agree on. We might feel strongly against it. But at this
point, there is no way that we could argue this with them or change their mind. And the only
thing we could do is to find an agreeable way to help ending this. Their demand is legitimate.
They only want to be (re)tried before an independent and impartial tribunal. Several bar
associations in Turkey made a joint statement requesting the government to uphold their
demands, guarantee a fair re-trial and release them pending their case. Unfortunately, the
current board of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations is a government ally so no intervention
from them so far.
Lawyers in Turkey, particularly CHD, are campaigning for them. One of the actions they have
been taking is to record 20 to 40 seconds videos to be published on social media. The content
is a few sentence statement – demanding their request be respected-. It can be in Turkish or
your own language. I know few of you have done that. If there is anyone else who would like
to participate in this, please let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
Ayse

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Grève de la faim dans les prisons turques : deux morts récents

  • 1. Dear all, I hope this email finds you well. Today we woke up to a very bad news. Mustafa Kocak, a political prisoner, died of his ongoing hunger strike (death fast) at the day 297. He was only 28 years old whose only demand was a fair trial. He and his lawyer made it clear that his trial which was resulted in his aggravated life-time imprisonment was not fair and his rights were not protected by the judiciary. His first appeal was rejected by the regional appeal court. His case has been pending before the Supreme Court of Appeal. His voice was not heard and got lost. As you may know, another political prisoner lost her life few weeks ago, again from a hunger strike (death fast). Her name was Helin Bolek (28). She was a member of a revolutionary music band, Grup Yorum. The band’s all musical and cultural activities have been brutally banned and prevented by the state forces for many years with its members continuously arrested, imprisoned or pushed to live in exile. Her demand was the state to seize those oppressive measures against the band and ‘let a Grup Yorum concert’ take place. It didn’t happen. Her voice also got lost. With two lawyers Ebru Timtik and Aytac Unsal still on a similar hunger strike, our worries are now increased more. Ebru is at day 113 and Aytac is 82nd (if I am not wrong). I know that the situation we are all in right now is quite challenging with the isolation and other limitations. And we tried to discuss and find ways few weeks ago on what to do. Also many of you sent letters, released statements through your organisations.. But with more days passing, questions become more apparent: should the legal community let the worse happen to these two lawyers in Turkey? What else we could do to help? Mediate, appeal more strongly to our governments, professional associations and the Turkish government, trying to put more pressure, do more. All are our friends, colleagues.. They need us... Shall we have a serious talk and try to draw an action plan? Or anything else you recommend. I know no one here would think otherwise but I wanted to indicate anyway. This way of resistance might not be a way we all agree on. We might feel strongly against it. But at this point, there is no way that we could argue this with them or change their mind. And the only thing we could do is to find an agreeable way to help ending this. Their demand is legitimate. They only want to be (re)tried before an independent and impartial tribunal. Several bar associations in Turkey made a joint statement requesting the government to uphold their demands, guarantee a fair re-trial and release them pending their case. Unfortunately, the current board of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations is a government ally so no intervention from them so far. Lawyers in Turkey, particularly CHD, are campaigning for them. One of the actions they have been taking is to record 20 to 40 seconds videos to be published on social media. The content is a few sentence statement – demanding their request be respected-. It can be in Turkish or your own language. I know few of you have done that. If there is anyone else who would like to participate in this, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. All the best, Ayse