A death fasting Turkish lawyer has urged people to prevent authorities from force-feeding him and another lawyer if they lose their consciousness.
In a message he sent via his wife, lawyer Aytaç Ünsal said that the doctors will “circle around them like vultures” and intervene medically without their consent.
“Please don’t let that happen,” his wife Didem Baydar Ünsal cited him as saying on Aug. 4.
Ünsal, as well as Ebru Timtik, are currently on a death fast with the demand to be tried fairly. The two are among a group of 18 lawyers who were convicted earlier this year with a total of 159 years in prison on charges of membership in an illegal organization. The lawyers and their colleagues have blasted the charges, saying they lack evidence.
The lawyers were branded members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C). Earlier this year, Helin Bölek and İbrahim Gökçek from the leftist folk group Grup Yorum both died after an extended death fast in which the musicians, who have faced the same charges, were protesting the government’s ban of the group’s concerts.
Both lawyers have been death fasting for over 180 days and rights groups have been calling for their demands to be met since their health conditions are deteriorating.
Earlier, colleagues of Timtik and Ünsal said that they were not able to receive news from the lawyers.
They said that the lawyers were brought to hospitals against their will, and that their lives are in danger due to the extent of their death fast in conjunction with the fact that the hospitals that they are currently staying in have high numbers of COVID-19 patients.
“In front of the hospital there is a COVID-19 clinic. There is a very high level of patients coming and going. Our colleagues are being held on the third floor of the emergency room. This is increasing our worries, because we don’t know what health precautions the gendarmerie and the doctors that are seeing them are taking,” said lawyer Ceren Yılmaz.