Assembly of Martyrs’ Families calls on the CPT to visit İmralı

The Assembly of Martyrs' Families in the Euphrates Canton protested the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), which did not visit İmralı during its last visit to Turkey, and called on the CPT to visit İmralı immediately.

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) made a public announcement about their visit to Turkey in the period 13-22 February. According to the statement, the CPT delegation did not visit Imrali Island Prison, where Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan is held in absolute isolation and has not been heard from for 35 months. While Öcalan and his three fellow prisoners have long been cut off from the outside world, the CPT is the only institution with the authority to visit Imrali.

The fact that the CPT delegation did not visit Imrali despite the ever-growing concerns of the Kurdish people about Öcalan’s detention conditions and state of health, continues to draw reactions. The Asrın Law Office, which represents Öcalan and three other prisoners on Imrali, said in a statement on 24 February that the approach of the CPT is neither compatible with the prohibition of torture nor with its duty to prevent conditions of torture.

The Assembly of Martyrs' Families in the Euphrates Canton of North-East Syria made a press statement in Kobanê to draw attention to the situation of Abdullah Öcalan, especially after the latest earthquakes in the Gemlik region of Bursa. Ships sail from the port city of Gemlik to the prison island of Imrali, where Abdullah Öcalan has been held as a political hostage since 1999.

Reacting to the silence of international powers against the isolation of the Kurdish leader, the Martyrs' Families Assembly said, "As the Kurdish people, we are very concerned about the condition of our Leader as we have not received any definite information about him from lawyers or any institution so far."

Derya Mihemed, a member of the Assembly, read the statement and said, "The Turkish state does not allow family visits to our leader. We know that the occupying Turkish state will not stop its efforts to break the will of the Kurdish people. However, our people have always rebelled against prisons. For this reason, we call on the Human Rights Institutions and the CPT to immediately arrange a meeting with our leader and inform our people accurately. We want the physical freedom of our leader."