Öcalan’s lawyers submit report on isolation to the CPT

Öcalan’s lawyers have prepared a report on the isolation and submitted it to the CPT. The report stresses that there has been absolutely no information coming out of the Imrali island for 417 days.

The Asrin Law Office lawyers submitted the file they prepared on the isolation to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).

The Asrin Law Office prepared a report on the appeals they made between July 12 and November 1 for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş and the rejection they have received. The lawyers submitted this report to the CPT and stated that fundamental rights are being violated in Imrali.


The report states that the reason behind the 14 month long silence in Imrali is the Bursa Court of Execution No.1’s verdict. The report stressed that the length of bans and unlawful practices have reached a point where their physical and mental effects can’t be ignored and added: “The client’s age and health condition are factors that aggravate the conditions and make them unbearable. Even though there is a responsibility to implement a regime that takes into account the ages and health conditions of clients and other such unique circumstances, it’s quite the opposite: Adverse conditions have turned the systemic torture into a permanent state.”


The report points out that a serious number of negative news stories have been circulating regarding Öcalan’s life and says: “The appeals of family members and us lawyers, who were already not able to visit and were thus concerned, after these stories came out have been rejected as well, like all other appeals. We believe that indicative news stories like this, which are given ground by the absolute isolation conditions, are not independent from current events in the country and the Middle East. In this sense, it is mandatory that Mr. Öcalan is held in a safer environment than the Imrali Prison.”


The report underlines that the CPT’s suggestions have been violated consistently for years and continued: “Despite all these developments, it is impossible to say that the practice put forth is an effective practice against torture. It is incomprehensible from a law perspective that the Imrali Prison was left out in your committee’s visit to Turkey in 2017 which aimed to ‘paint a portrait’ of democracy and human rights in Turkey. Because any portrait of Turkey regarding human rights and especially the ban on torture is impossible and incomprehensible without putting the Imrali Prison and the approach towards Mr. Öcalan to the center.”


The report also stresses that other clients have also not been allowed any family or lawyer visits since they were transferred to the island prison. The verdict issued by the Bursa Court of Execution No.1 which is used as the excuse to sever all of Öcalan’s ties to the outside world is also mentioned in the report and it was stated that no advances could be made with the appeal to the Constitutional Court (CC) either. “It needs to be said that the CC’s influence over human rights violations constitute a weak supervision in Turkey,” says the report and continues to say that the lawyers have no information on what happened to the letters sent on various dates to Öcalan and the three other arrestees, and the letters their clients sent them.


The report states that after the coup attempt on July 15, the lawyers demanded the medical file on Öcalan in the Imrali Prison to inspect whether Öcalan’s right to health was implemented in a legal way and adds: “But since 1999, the medical files of Öcalan haven’t been given to the lawyers due to ‘privacy’, despite him not having been treated in an independent, fully equipped hospital even once since 1999.”

The report also stresses that the lawyers’ requests for appointments with the Ministry of Justice on April 12, 2017 and October 16, 2017 have been left unanswered.


The report includes the following:

“In the Imrali Isolation System that tramples the most fundamental principles of law, no prisoner has any security. The recent events are examples of this, and have given us as families and lawyers further concern. No rules or contracts impose on the clients to be held under these circumstances. It is not possible for an arbitrary regime to be accepted by your esteemed committee. Individuals are protected from torture with far-reaching mechanisms including the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Torture is even considered a crime against humanity under certain circumstances. The risk of practices with such grave implications being implemented or continuing to be implemented against clients in the Imrali Island Prison must be eliminated. It hasn’t been possible to receive a single piece of information from the Imrali island, either directly or indirectly, for 417 days. We do not have the slightest idea on the current conditions of our clients. We request that your committee take all necessary initiatives in case outcomes impossible to compensate emerge for clients.”