Lawyer Şeker says isolation of Öcalan is a political message
“The isolation of Öcalan concerns not only the prisoners on hunger strike but also all of us. It concerns the whole society. All citizens demand justice in Turkey. Therefore, we must all fulfill our responsibilities,” said lawyer Bünyamin Şeker of ÖHD.
Lawyer Bünyamin Şeker, co-chair of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), evaluated the isolation of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan, the interrupted phone call and the prisoners' hunger strike.
Lawyer Şeker asserted that the Turkish state allowed a phone call with Öcalan in order to ward off isolation criticism.
The aggravated isolation imposed on Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan has been continuing. Political prisoners have been on a hunger strike in Turkish prisons since 27 November to protest the isolation and violations of rights. On March 25, first time in 11 months, Öcalan was allowed to make a phone call with his brother Mehmet Öcalan. However, the phone call was interrupted in 4 minutes and no more phone calls were allowed.
Şeker said, "Mr. Öcalan is being held in captivity. Imrali is not a normal prison. All prisoners should enjoy their legitimate rights. The international institutions, particularly the Committee for the Prevention of Crime (CPT) and the Council of Europe have issued several statements on the subject."
The lawyer continued, "The CPT reported that there are violations of rights in Imrali and the prisoners are in isolation. The CPT also stated that no one can stay in prison for life. However, Mr. Öcalan has been under heavy isolation for 22 years.”
ÖCALAN IS THE LEADER OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE
Şeker pointed out that, "Political prisoners have been on hunger strike since November 27 to denounce the isolation and violations of rights in prisons. Abdullah Öcalan is not an ordinary person. Millions of people consider Abdullah Öcalan as their leader. The Turkish state also addressed Abdullah Öcalan as the leader of the Kurds during the peace process.
Some rumours were made about Abdullah Öcalan's health condition. This is a provocation. The Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office denied the allegations. However, these statements are not enough. A meeting should be held with Abdullah Öcalan as soon as possible.”
THE STATE LEGITIMIZES ISOLATION
Şeker stressed that, "The phone call was interrupted within 4 minutes. When Öcalan touched on the lawlessness of the state and said that he wanted to meet his lawyers, the phone call was halted.
In his phone call, Öcalan stated that the phone call was not legal and a meeting should in fact be held with his lawyers on Imralı. The state seeks to legitimize the isolation against Abdullah Öcalan and allowed a phone call with him in order to ward off isolation criticism. The state says, "There is no isolation, look he can talk on the phone."
Şeker also spoke about the ongoing hunger strikes in Turkey’s prisons. "As lawyers, we do not suggest any action that could harm the prisoners' health. However, the prisoners no longer have faith in the law. That’s why they have launched the hunger strikes. They demand the recognition of their legitimate rights and the removal of arbitrary practices.
This concerns not only the prisoners on hunger strike but also all of us. It concerns the whole society. All citizens demand justice in Turkey. Therefore, we must all fulfill our responsibilities."