New statement from Öcalan’s lawyers on the fire at Imralı

The defense team of Abdullah Öcalan has issued a new statement on the fire on the prison island of Imrali.

The Asrin Law Office, which has represented Abdullah Öcalan since his arrest 21 years ago, has made a further statement on the reports of a forest fire on the prison island of Imrali:

"On 27 February 2020, the Minister of the Interior made public in a live television broadcast that a fire had broken out on the island of Imrali. It is known that Imrali was designed in 1999 as a one-person prison for our client Abdullah Öcalan. In 2015 our clients Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş were relocated to Imrali. Our clients are detained against their will and legal regulations on an island which is considered a military restricted area and where visits are not possible. It is an unavoidable fact that Mr. Öcalan and our other clients are directly affected by the fire. Under the existing conditions, it is questionable whether immediate intervention can be made in life-threatening emergencies. This leads to justified concern and doubt.

Since the last family visit on 12 August 2019 all contact with our clients on Imrali has been prevented. We have no information about the health and safety of our clients. In order to be able to inspect the detention conditions on site, it is necessary to allow for immediate lawyer and family visits. For this purpose, applications have been made to the competent public prosecutor's office and the Ministry of Justice.

The absolute isolation of our clients on Imrali constitutes a crime. Taking a stand against it is a moral and humane attitude and stands within the framework of democratic rights. We assume that the public will show due attention. We call upon the relevant authorities to assume their responsibilities.”