Ankara prevents the publishing of CPT’s report on İmralı
Although the isolation imposed upon Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan for 18 years is defined as “torture” in the 2014 verdict by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), it continues still, stricter now since April 15, 2015.
One of Öcalan’s lawyers Newroz Uysal stated that international institutions ignoring the isolation imposed upon Öcalan, who insists on peace in Turkey and the Middle East, with political concerns is unacceptable.
Speaking to ANF, lawyer Newroz Uysal pointed out that there is a special law regimen in place in the Imrali Island for Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan. She said Turkey is preventing the publishing of CPT’s report.
THE ISOLATION IMPOSED UPON ÖCALAN IS A MESSAGE TO THE KURDISH PEOPLE
Lawyer Newroz Uysal called the 18 year long Imralı Island period a history of isolation and torture and said: “We as Mr. Öcalan’s lawyers have submitted countless appeals and applications to break the torture and isolation that has continued for 18 years. We haven’t received a positive response in the legal sense and we saw that a political message was given with the isolation to the Kurdish political movement and the institutions with efforts in that line. It could be said that a de facto war period started with the narrative of ‘The table is gone!’ on March 21, although the last meeting between Mr. Öcalan and the İmralı Committee was on April 5, 2015. With the new period, the Turkish state started to treat Mr. Öcalan in the Imralı Island as a hostage against the Kurdish people. Mr. Öcalan never had the rights held by a regular convict in Turkey or a convict with the status of aggravated life sentence, which Turkey created by trampling regular law.”
Uysal pointed out that the state attempted to create a legitimate cover for the 18 year long isolation with legal workarounds and changes in laws, and that the isolation is experiencing its most critical period. Uysal added: “The no-communication period that started on April 15, 2015 has reached the extreme with July 15. After the July 15 process, the events in Turkey and Imralı created concerns in the people and as a protest, politicians outside started a hunger strike. The hunger strike was approximately a week long, and as a result Mr. Öcalan and his family had a visit. This visit was made on political grounds, but the Turkish state came up with a legal cover and presented it as a holiday visit for the people. The visit was with Mehmet Öcalan but we as the family and the lawyers couldn’t contact the İmralı Island in any way, despite appeals made every week.”
Uysal mentioned that after the declaration of the state of emergency, the first legal practices were enacted in the İmralı Prison and stated that with a decree on July 20, 2016 all lawyer, family and visitor visits were completely cut off and communication rights via letters and phone calls were completely barred for an undetermined time during the State of Emergency period for Mr. Öcalan and the three other people in the prison.
IMRALI REPORT BY THE CPT
Uysal remarked that they submitted countless appeals to have the isolation and torture system in the İmralı Island abolished and continued: “These appeals were sometimes positive, sometimes negative political decrees and sometimes they even defied the law. Among these, there is an ECHR decree that calls the İmralı isolation a ‘system of torture’. Other than this, on our appeal -and we have claimed there is torture in İmralı Island since 1999- the CPT visited Turkey in regular intervals and visited the İmralı Island Prison. Some of their reports on the issue have been published, but reports including the visit on April 28-29 0016 haven’t. It has been more than one year since the visit, but we know from our meetings that this report was sent to Turkey and and Turkey sent it back after adding their views and comments. But the CPT decided to not share the report or any details on the report due to Turkey’s comments. Even this is enough to see what a negative light the report shines on Turkey. We believe that the report’s publishing was prevented because it would damage Turkey’s international prestige and show Mr. Öcalan’s circumstances and what is happening in the Island.”
THE ISOLATION IS IGNORED AND POLITICAL DECISIONS ARE MADE
Uysal said international institutions made political decisions far removed from the law regarding the ongoing isolation in Imralı and concluded her comments with: “Mr. Abdullah Öcalan is legally a convict, but this fact is often disregarded and he is pushed forward as just the leader of the PKK or the leader of an organization engaged in armed struggle. But as the process called the Peace Process put forth Mr. Abdullah Öcalan’s insistence on peace very clearly, it has also voided the dichotomy put in front of us by international institutions. Mr. Öcalan has clearly stated his approach regarding peace with both his role in the solution process and with his ideas in the articles he wrote. Because of this, we do not accept that Mr. Abdullah Öcalan is viewed as a dangerous convict, with his status in an organization used as an excuse.