Turkey frees hunger striker after colleague’s death in jail

A week after human rights lawyer Ebru Timtik died after 238 days on hunger strike, her colleague has been released on the order of Turkey’s supreme court.

Aytac Unsal, 32, had been on hunger strike for 213 days and was critically ill in hospital in Istanbul.The court ruled that extending his detention would endanger his life.Like Timtik, he was jailed on terrorism charges that he denied. Both lawyers had been given long prison sentences, criticised by rights and legal groups.Ebru Timtik had been given more than 13 years in jail and her colleague 10 years and six months on allegations of terror offences for their links to an outlawed Marxist group.

The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) has carried out several deadly attacks.When they and 16 other lawyers were jailed for their ties to the banned group in March 2019, Amnesty International said the convictions were a travesty of justice based on a politically motivated prosecution.

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