The Law Society sends letter to  draw attention to the exceptional threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to imprisoned lawyers in Turkey.

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The Law Society has written a letter jointly with Lawyers for Lawyers and the European Association of Lawyers for Human Rights and Democracy, to the President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), to draw attention to the exceptional threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to imprisoned lawyers in Turkey. We have called for the CPT to increase its monitoring activities on Turkey with a special focus on the health risks for such lawyers.

The Covid-19 outbreak creates a new and significant risk, particularly in overcrowded prisons with poor hygiene measures. Turkey initially responded to the warnings made by international organisations by offering a mass amnesty to 90,000 prisoners. However, not all of these prisoners have yet been released. Furthermore, a large proportion of prisoners charged with some form of terrorist offence, are not eligible for this reduction or remission of punishment.

During the COVID 19 pandemic, several imprisoned lawyers from the Progressive Lawyers Association, including Mrs Ebru Timtik (in prison in Silivri) and Mr Aytaç Ünsal (in prison in Burhaniye) have been protesting against their unjust conviction by going on hunger strike. Their health is now at particular risk. This risk is now more imminent following official confirmation that 44 inmates in Silivri Prison have tested positive for COVID-19.

Read our joint letter in full below.