Lawyer Baran: Law is not working in Imralı

The aggravated isolation imposed Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan continues.

Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held in Imralı Prison for 21 years, was given the right to make a phone call for the first time on 27 April. Since then no news has been received from Öcalan. Speaking about isolation, Lawyer Devrim Barış Baran drew attention to the unlawfulness experienced in Imralı.

Reminding that law in Imralı is not enacted, but only political decisions apply there, lawyer Baran said that visits by family and lawyers were denied using pretexts.

Lawyer Baran added: "The state allows visits whenever it wants. We have experienced many examples of this in the past. The leader of a party, deputies, delegations, MIT, government officials, academics were able to go and meet when the state decided it was fine for them to go. It is necessary to reinstate legality in Imralı.”

Lawyer Baran continue: “Are the practices implemented in Imralı legally correct for the international public? They are not. Unfortunately, the state uses its power to operate like that. We are talking about a political personality as well as the constitutional and legal rights of Mr. Öcalan. During the peace talks positive period, flowers opened, spring had come in the country. People were not dying. Mothers were not crying, as someone said, the economy had recovered. Of course, these are purely political decisions."

Adding that the illegal decisions taken over Imralı are related also to the Syrian policy, lawyer Baran stressed that the government does not want a Kurdish structure in Rojava and is against the current democratic autonomous government system. Lawyer Baran underlined that indeed, “an alliance with the Kurds instead of this hostility will also improve the conditions of the country, but unfortunately the state cannot get rid of the codes of the past.”

Democracy is steadily decreasing, said lawyer Baran adding that “security policies are increasing, the country is losing the respect of the international public opinion, but it is still insisted on these policies. We do not expect this situation to continue forever. A solution will be found. No economy, no society can bear these war policies. It is surprising that they still insist on this despite seeing and knowing this situation."

Reminding that legal arrangements have been made in the country’s prisons to counter the coronavirus pandemic lawyer Baran said: "We thought that political prisoners would also be included by this execution, unfortunately, this did not happen. So, thieves and rapists were released, but those in prison for their thoughts are still inside. This is not a situation that society will accept but a wounding conscience.”

Lawyer Baran said: “Civil society organizations have had a certain reaction to this situation, but arguments are needed to mobilize them. For example, lawyers or civil organizations can mobilise for any detainee or convict. This way, you can make a request, petitions can be submitted. Some civil society organizations show some reactions in general, but this is not enough. Unfortunately, the voice of civil society is also being cut off.

A huge fear prevails. We are going through a difficult period. It is a period that cannot tolerate even the smallest opposition. It's also about timing. It is necessary to find the right timing. The country's agenda works very differently. We see a new agenda every day. It is necessary to believe that everyone is equal before the law and defend this principle. Everybody should be treated equally. Unfortunately, a different regime is implemented. As I have said, this completely depends on the strength of the state power, it opens the channels whenever it wants, and closes it whenever it wants."