Council of Europe gives Turkey one year time for İmralı
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has asked Turkey to provide information on Abdullah Öcalan pursuant to the ECtHR decisions by September 2022.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe discussed the file on Imrali prison during its 29 November-2 December meetings.
The committee which is responsible for overseeing the rulings and decisions of the Human Rights Court (ECtHR) and meeting quarterly, debated over Turkey in its session on December 1.
The Committee has also requested information on the number of persons presently detained and sentenced to serve an irreducible life sentence without possibility for review on penological ground.
The Committee of Ministers has asked the authorities in Turkey to provide information concerning the implementation of the general measures by the end of September 2022.
The committee's decisions under seven headings are as follows:
1. recalled that these cases concern violations of the prevention of inhuman and degrading treatment on account of the absence of a review mechanism in Turkish legislation for aggravated life imprisonment sentence; recalled also that finding such a violation cannot be understood as giving the applicants the prospect of imminent release, but requires the national authorities to put in place a review mechanism in the light of the standards set out by the Court;
As regards individual measures
2. recalled that the European Court, in the case of Öcalan (No. 2), found no violation of Article 3 concerning the applicant's conditions of detention for the period after 17 November 2009, and noted also that the Court is currently seized with an application concerning the applicant's present detention conditions; noted furthermore that his detention conditions are being closely monitored by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which holds regular visits to the Imrali Prison; decided in these circumstances that no further individual measures are required concerning the applicant's conditions of detention, within the framework of this judgment;
3. noted that the individual measures related to the fact that the applicants’ whole life sentences remain irreducible despite the findings of the Court are linked with the adoption of the general measures;
As regards general measures
4. noted that the execution of these judgments require the adoption of legislative or other adequate measures to secure a mechanism that would allow the review of any aggravated life imprisonment sentence after a certain minimum term with a possibility of the release of the life prisoner on penological grounds; stressed, as underlined also by the European Court, that the introduction of a review mechanism implies the possibility to apply for release on parole after a certain minimum term of detention, but not necessarily to be released if the competent judicial authorities concludes that the person concerned still poses a danger to society;
5. expressed concern that the authorities have not provided pertinent information on the measures envisaged to remedy the violations found in these judgments and urged them to adopt without further delay the measures required to bring the current legislative framework into compliance with the standards set out by the Court; encouraged them further to draw inspiration in this respect on the good examples of reforms adopted in other member States;
6. requested also information on the number of persons presently detained and sentenced to serve an irreducible life sentence without possibility for review on penological ground;
7. invited the authorities to submit information on the progress achieved in the adoption of the general measures by the end of September 2022 at the latest.”