Council of Europe calls for an end to the isolation of Ocalan
The report on Leyla Guven’s hunger strike and Turkey, approved at the Council of Europe today, called for the removal of the isolation regime on Abdullah Ocalan.
At the end of an emergency session on Turkey, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) released a resolution called “The worsening situation of opposition politicians in Turkey: what can be done to protect their fundamental rights in a Council of Europe member State?”
The resolution was then submitted to the Council of Europe where it was approved.
In the resolution the Assembly explicitly called on Turkey “to release Leyla Güven due to her parliamentary immunity until the end of her mandate, in the light of the recent decision rendered by the Supreme Court of Cassation with respect to the detention of deputy Enis Berberoǧlu.”
The report also “expresses its concern about the detention and imprisonment of opposition parliamentarians and former parliamentarians in Turkey, including former deputy and former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, deputy Leyla Güven, who is also a former member of the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, and former deputy and Assembly member Ertuğrul Kürkçü. In particular, the Assembly is very concerned that detained MP Leyla Güven has been on indefinite hunger strike since 8 November 2018 and deeply regrets that politicians are forced to resort to such ultimate means to draw attention to their plight in the absence of genuine political debate and dialogue.”
The report also called on the Turkish authorities “to respect fully the rights of opposition politicians in a democracy, including the freedoms of expression, association and assembly, and in particular to protect and respect parliamentary immunity, in accordance with Assembly Resolution 1601 (2008) on procedural guidelines on the rights and responsibilities of the opposition in a democratic parliament as well as with the standards of the Venice Commission; release MPs and former MPs whose immunity was stripped in 2016 in violation of the Council of Europe standards until the completion of the review of their legal case.”
In March 2018, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) published a report on its April 2016 visit to the high-security prison on the island of Imralı in Turkey, where Abdullah Öcalan and three other prisoners are being held.
The CPT expressed serious concern that the situation regarding the prisoners’ contact with the outside world has further deteriorated.
CPT report said: “In particular, all prisoners have been prevented from receiving visits from their lawyers for almost five years and from relatives for more than 18 months. A total ban on telephone calls has also been imposed on all prisoners. The Committee calls upon the Turkish authorities to make sure that all prisoners at Imralı Prison are able, if they so wish, to receive visits from their relatives and lawyers.”