International Imrali Delegation urges CPT to uphold its responsibilities

The international Imrali Peace Delegation has sent an open letter calling upon the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture -CPT to uphold its responsibilities for Abdullah Öcalan.

Conditions of isolation on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan have been in place for the last 17 years. Despite all peaceful efforts of Öcalan, the Turkish state continues and intensifies the isolation. Despite all the insistence from Kurds, European institutions keep their silence.

The International Peace Delegation headed by Nelson Mandela’s lawyer Essa Moosa that wanted to visit İmralı on February 15 against the isolation of Öcalan but was obstructed by the Turkish state has sent an open letter to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture -CPT calling for urgent meeting with Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

The open letter, same with the one the Joint Diplomacy Committee of Kurdish and Syriac Parties and Institutions sent to EU officials today, voiced grave concerns about the well being of Öcalan, stressing that this concern is shared by his family, his lawyers, the Kurdish people and the wider public as the pronouncements and actions of the government do little to allay these concerns.

Recalling that Öcalan had always warned of this possibility of a coup during his meetings with his lawyers, the state and the HDP delegations 15 months ago, the letter said the Kurdish leader's safety would be under threat in such a situation of violence and counter-violence.

The international Imrali Peace Delegation called upon the CPT to uphold its responsibilities at this critical moment, emphasising that the CPT must eliminate all concerns for Öcalan’s safety and well-being, meet with Öcalan and demand that his lawyers and family are allowed to meet with him too.

The letter underlined that; "For millions of people, Mr Abdullah Ocalan is their political leader and his well-being is of the utmost concern for them. Any hesitance and inaction by the CPT would aggravate the concerns which are legitimate and humane. To alleviate these concerns, the CPT must act with the utmost urgency and demand to meet Mr Abdullah Ocalan face to face at Imrali Island."

The letter was sent to the CPT with the following signatories:

Members of the Imrali Peace Delegation that visited Strasbourg

- Judge Essa Moosa (Head of Delegation), International Peace and Reconciliation Initiative, South Africa.

- Prof. Kariane Westrheim chairperson EU Turkey Civic Commission, Professor at the University of Bergen. Former Rafto Board Member

- Rev, Fr. Joe Ryan, Chair of the Westminster Justice and Peace Commission (UK)

- Thomas Jeff Miley Lecturer of Political Sociology, Cambridge University (USA)

- Federico Venturini School of Geography, University of Leeds (Italy)

- Radha D’ Souza University of Westminster, School of Law (India)

Additional members of the Imrali Peace Delegation

- Janet Biehl author, editor (USA)

- Francesco Andrade Velasco, former Minister of Culture (Ecuador)

 - Andrej Hunko, MP of Left Party (Germany)

- Dimitri Roussopoulos, co-founder of Transnational Institute for Social Ecology (Canada)

- Eirik Eiglad, writer and publisher (Norway)

- Lucena Gonzalez Edgar de Jesus, deputy of the National Assembly (Venezuela)