Internationalist Solidarity Network sends letter to CPT president Alan Mitchell

Letter to CPT president Alan Mitchell sent by Internationalist Solidarity Network behind the ‘Freedom for Ocalan: A Political Solution to the Kurdish Question’ Campaign.

The Internationalist Solidarity Network behind the ‘Freedom for Ocalan: A Political Solution to the Kurdish Question’ Campaign delivered a letter to the president of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, Alan Mitchell, to expose the situation of incommunicado in which, for the past 36 months, Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan has been left.

The letter underlined that Abdullah Öcalan is "seen by millions of Kurds as their rightful political representative" and added that he has been held in "an extreme form of incommunicado detention by the Turkish state on the prison island of Imrali. During this illegal and inhumane isolation, Mr. Öcalan has been disappeared, and dropped into a void of non-existence, while being denied all contact with the outside world, including his lawyers and family. Throughout this period, Turkey has attempted to transform Imrali island into a floating coffin. Mr. Öcalan, who is now 75 years old, has been subjected to cruel torture through isolation for 25 years, and over the last three years, no information has been provided concerning his health. At this point, even his whereabouts cannot be confirmed, and his physical condition is a highly sensitive issue for millions of Kurds who see him as embodying their national voice."

The letter asked the CPT to act. "As CPT, you are entitled to visit all places of detention of states which are party to the Convention, including Turkey. This affords you the ability to send your team of experts to Imrali, where the Turkish government must grant you unrestricted access to visit where Mr. Öcalan is being held captive and allow you to interview him in private, so he can communicate with you freely."

The letter asked the CPT "to act in accordance with Article 3 of the Statute of the CoE, which states that Every member of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of the rule of law and the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Mr. Öcalan is a citizen of a CoE member state that has been denying him his human rights for two and half decades, and for the last three years, has been depriving him of his legal rights to meet with his lawyers and speak with his family."

The letter asked "with complete sincerity, is that you please immediately send a delegation to visit Imrali Island to speak with Mr. Öcalan and check on his well-being. Following that, we would greatly appreciate it if you could attempt to compel Turkey to allow him to receive a visit from his family and lawyers, so that they are in compliance with CoE and CPT obligations. This would help address an urgent human rights issue and concern for millions of Kurds and could also renew the spirit of reconciliation, which is needed to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey."