Lawyer Acun: Isolation is a consequence of the deadlock policies regarding the Kurdish issue
Lawyer Berdan Acun from the Association of Lawyers for Freedom said, "The reason for the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan is the deadlock policies regarding the Kurdish issue."
The aggravated isolation of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held in Imralı Prison since February 15, 1999, continues. Political prisoners in Turkey’s prisons have been on hunger strike since November 27 to end the isolation. The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) Central Office Director Lawyer Berdan Acun evaluated the isolation of Öcalan and the ongoing hunger strike for ANF.
"Imrali was a semi-open prison before Öcalan was brought there. Status of the Imrali prison was changed and converted into a military prison after Öcalan was put there. The prison was attached to the Ministry of Justice. However, then the Imrali prison was transferred to the Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center. For this reason, the status of the Imrali prison is different from other prisons. The isolation started first with Abdullah Öcalan, then became Turkey's governmental practice. The lawlessness that started in İmralı was spread to other prisons. In this way, the whole society has been kept in isolation," Acun said.
Acun remarked that the Imrali isolation has been deepened in order to ward off legitimate demands regarding the solution of the Kurdish issue. "The reason for the isolation on Mr. Öcalan is the deadlock policies regarding the Kurdish issue. Abdullah Öcalan played an active role during the resolution process between 2013-2015. One reason for the isolation is to avert legitimate demands for a solution. There is a Kurdish problem in Turkey but they want to prevent peaceful solution methods by imposing the isolation."
IMRALI SYSTEM ADOPTS GUANTANAMO MODEL
Acun continued, "The Imrali system follows the example of the Guantanamo model where laws are suspended. The goal is to silence the society. Every field of the society has been besieged by isolation that is mostly applied on women, youth, parties and institutions."
The Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) also addressed the situation in Imrali but practically nothing was done. They did not put pressure on Turkey to end the isolation. Therefore, the isolation is getting deeper day by day.”
DEMANDS OF PRISONERS
Drawing attention to the prisoners who have been on hunger strike since November 27 in Turkey’s prisons in order to end the isolation of Öcalan and the lawlessness in prisons, Acun concluded his speech with the following words: "As human rights defenders and lawyers, we do not approve of such actions which harm the prisoners' health. But such actions are also legitimate when legal solutions are exhausted.”
Acun added, "The hunger strikes that started in 2019 under the leadership of Leyla Güven and spread to many parts of the world were later turned into indefinite hunger strikes. 8 prisoners died during the indefinite hunger strikes. With the same purpose, the prisoners have been on hunger strike since 27 November 2020. As human rights defenders and lawyers, we hope that the prisoners' demands will be fulfilled as soon as possible. We urge the government to implement the law. The demands of Abdullah Öcalan and the prisoners must be fulfilled as soon as possible."