Despite the passage of five months since the detaining of the People’s Law Office lawyers, the indictments have yet to be drafted. It is even forbidden for detained lawyer couples to make phone calls to each other.
There is no end to the pressure on the eighteen lawyers who, while acting as Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça’s lawyers, were detained on 22 September 2017 two days before a scheduled hearing. The lawyers, who have each been sent to a different jail pending the investigation being conducted by Istanbul Republic Chief Prosecution, continue to be subjected to solitary confinement. The indictments against the lawyers, who are in detention charged with “membership of an armed terrorist organisation/DHKP-C,” have yet to be drafted despite the passage of five months.
Rights in name alone
Didem Baydar Ünsal, Attorney-at-Law, who is detained in Karabük Prison and Aytaç Ünsal, Attorney-at-Law, who is detained in Karabük Prison, are not permitted to phone one another despite being married. Aytaç Ünsal’s mother, Nermin Ünsal, Attorney-at-Law, applied to the Ministry of Justice for the two spouses to be enabled to communicate. However, she received the reply, “Incoming telephone calls to convicts are not permitted.” Nermin Ünsal, Attorney-at-Law, stating with reference to the telephone ban applied to her son and his wife that telephone rights are granted to other convicted spouses in different prisons just now, objected to her son and the other lawyers being held in solitary confinement.
Everyone facing pressure of one kind or another
The People’s Law Office lawyers, who have acted as lawyers in the Reyhanlı, Soma, Ermenek, Dilek Doğan and Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça cases, were sent to eight different prisons on being detained. The lawyers are being held in Burhaniye, Karabük, Bolu, Balıkesir, Düzce, Edirne, Tekirdağ, and Tekirdağ T-Type prisons. Intern Naim Feyzullah Eminoğlu was detained on account of the journey he made to North Korea, being asked, “Who did you get instructions from?” and was sent to Burhaniye Prison. In Düzce Prison, lawyers Aycan Çiçek and Ayşegül Çağatay were beaten by warders in riot gear for failing reel off their names military fashion. Ergin Gökoğlu, who was dragged over broken glass while exposed to pressurised water and truncheon blows and had his arm broken while being handcuffed from the rear was greeted by the governor of Edirne Prison to which he was sent with the words, “I will teach you a thing or two; I will make you bow.”
Detained lawyers face arbitrary ban on speaking to their spouses