FBE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – International Memorial Event for EBRU TIMTIC

9.04.2021

As it was earlier  announced o FBE website, on April 5, 2021 took place on- line the International Memorial Event for EBRU TIMTIC. There were almost 100 participants who had opportunity to say different ways good – bye to Ebru.

On behalf of FBE, I as the FBE President of the Human Rights Commission was honoured to be a keynote speaker that day.

Beneath I present you part of my Memorial speech dedicated to Ebru Timtic.

Dear All, Dear Organizer of this event,

That is great idea to held the international Memorial Event for EBRU TIMTIK, our Friend and the Great Lawyer.

FBE for a long time is involved in the situation of Turkish Lawyers in Turkey. For more than three years its Human Rights Commission with my chairing, started the project called “TURKISH TRIAL OBSERVATION PROJECT”. Many of our colleagues from the Commission and not only, take part in the Turkish lawyers trials in Turkey and conferences dedicated to them or the lawyers situation in Turkey.

We as Federation of European Bars also present our strong position and demand on that matter on FBE website www. fbe.org with our statements, articles and informations.

What’s important, the Presidency of the FBE in its meeting of 27 July, 2020 decided to support the Turkish Lawyers and  Ebru Timtik and others for their critical situation demanding a fairly judgement to the local Authorities.

In some words I would like to make a small background about Ebru

Ebru Timtik was the part of a group of eighteen lawyers who have been convicted and sentenced to long-term imprisonment. They all were known for their representation of clients who are considered opponents of the Turkish government. Officially those lawyers with Ebru have been in prison since September 12, 2018 on charges of membership in the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army/Front.

In a profoundly unfair trial, these lawyers have been sentenced to many years of imprisonment for alleged terrorist – related offences. Ebru has been sentenced to 13 years and 6 months for membership of a terrorist organisation.

Ebru announced that she would persist in her hunger strike even if it leads to her deaths.

Ebru Timtik was on hunger strike to strengthen her demand for fair trials and the administration of justice in Turkey.  Her wish was to ensure that the Turkish authorities observe the rule of law in Turkey. Unfortunately, after a 238-days hunger she passed away.

Ebru during the time of her imprisoned had support from outside and inside Turkey without doubt. We all asked that time the Turkish authorities and Courts for a fair trial and realizing them from the prison.

In recognition of her sacrifice, and in order to focus attention on the plight of those in countries around the globe who are facing prosecution in circumstances where fair trial principles are not being observed or respected I do confirm that a number of international bar associations and as well as lawyers organisations have come together to arrange an annual “International Fair Trial Day” which will be observed every year on 14 June.

Steps are also being undertaken to introduce a new annual Ebru Timtik Award to recognise an individual or an organisation who has or which has made an exceptional contribution towards securing fair trial rights in the country on which the International Fair Trial Day is focusing for the year in question. Each year a conference will be held, either online or at a physical location in a country chosen because of the level of concern with regard to the lack of respect for fair trial rights in that jurisdiction at that time.

Ayşe Bingöl Demir and Serife Ceren Uysal has already agreed that the first conference will be held as a virtual event on 14 June 2021 and will focus on fair trial rights in Turkey.

The steering group of “International Fair Trial Day and Ebru Timtik Award”  consists of: Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH), European Bars Federation (FBE), European Democratic Lawyers (EDL-AED), French National Bar Council (CNB), International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), International Association of Lawyers (UIA), International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Italian National Bar Council (CNF), Law Society of England and Wales, Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L).

With this Memorail I also have to mention the FBE is also gravely concerned that Turkey has announced its withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence called as the “Istanbul Convention”.

The FBE in its expressed position calls on the Turkish government to reconsider its decision and to uphold protection for women against violence, to avoid the potential situations as we had with Ebru and others.

The independence of all lawyers and all human beings must be respected according to international standards in the whole World.

And closing my short memorial speech about Ebru, thinking of her, come to my mind Ernest Hemingway and words from one of his novels:

“The man is not created failures. The man can be destroyed but never defeated”

EBRU, you stay in our memories and hearts forever.

 

Artur Wierzbicki

President of the FBE Human Rights Commission