Dear Friends of Ali,

As many of you may know, the trumped-up criminal case against Ali and the #Istanbul10 is ongoing and indefinite in Turkey. The case is clearly political, and as such, the only fixed date coming up is the next hearing which is scheduled for November 2018 for the main case in the 35th Criminal Court in Istanbul.

Because it is a political case, there is no reasonable and solid timeline to be foreseen. The case could be closed with the next hearing, but it is as likely as it continues for the next two years. There is no certainty from anyone (lawyers or Civil Society allies on the ground) as to how this case will proceed or for how long.

The current legal situation is ongoing, and so are the costs of living, recovery, and healing. These costs not only include substantial legal and advocacy costs, but also loss of income during the past 12 months, as well as recovery and therapy costs.

In 2017 alone, Ali and Laressa were faced with over 50,000 EUR in legal and advocacy costs, and the projection for 2018 is about 25,000 EUR in legal fees. Ali and Laressa have also been faced with lost income in the past 12 months, as well as additional costs related to healing and therapy. The total costs are well over 100,000 EUR.

In 2017, many friends and family have supported Ali and Laressa, anticipating their need for time to heal, to receive therapy, and to make sense of these events that took over their lives in 2017. In the height of the crisis, Hivos (funder of the Turkey workshop) also made a concerted effort to contribute towards financial costs despite internal and other challenges, and Amnesty International and Frontline Defenders also provided some emergency funding during the arrest and detention. Despite all, support has been challenging and sporadic, especially in the months following the release, where some believe the crisis has passed, but the financial need for legal action, living, recovery and healing continues. This has put a substantial financial burden on Ali and Laressa while they are also trying to recover from their trauma.

We are hoping to help them defray these costs and reduce the unjust financial burden they face while they heal. Ali and Laressa expect to be back to work again in the beginning of 2019.

On behalf of Ali and Laressa, we thank you for your support.

Friends of Ali