The hypocrisy of the ECtHR: Execution was replaced with isolation

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  • 10:43 30 November 2020
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ANKARA- Stating that the continued isolation in İmralı is against national and international law, Attorney Eyyüp Duman said that ECtHR  which gave a precautionary measure decision against execution 21 years ago, acted hypocritically about the isolation, which means "gradual destruction".

21 years have passed since the The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) decided that PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan was not fairly tried at the State Security Courts (DGM) and gave a precautionary measure decision against his execution. The same ECtHR that gave this precautionary decision remains silent regarding the 'absolute isolation' imposed on Öcalan. Öcalan who is deprived of his rights to be visited by his family and attorneys, of his phone call rights, says that absolute isolation is the same thing with execution, only thing that's different about them is the method.
Lawyer Eyüp Duman evaluated the ECHR's Imrali attitude for our agency.
Stating that the bar presidents, the President of the time, the PM and international institutions have written a petition to stop the execution in 1999, Duman said that even though ECtHR determined that there is an absolute isolation from time to time, it does impose sanctions to Turkey, in line with its interests. Reminding that all institutions and positions in Turkey must comply with the ECtHR decisions, Duman said Turkey will have to comply with a decision to be made about the termination of the isolation. Duman said: "They did not make such a decision due to the fact that international organizations have relationships based on interest. They take a different approach according to the period, process and person to whom the laws are applied. They are not sensitive to the isolation imposed on Öcalan. Delegations come from time to time, they determine that there is isolation, but they do not put any pressure on Turkey. This pressure should definitely be applied."
Mentioning Öcalan's analysis about the conditions he is held under, in which he states that absolute isolation is the same thing with execution, only thing that's different about them is the method, Duman said: "The law should be applied equally for everyone. If you keep a person alone for a long time, if you isolate thenm, their organs start to fail. Isolation paves the way for a slow decay and destruction. The execution sentence was removed due to the membership to EU. This is a sound decision. But replacing the execution sentence with isolation is against basic human rights."
Mentioning the judiciary reform which is discussed a lot lately, Duman said: "I wince everytime 'reform' is mentioned in Turkey. Reform does not happen with words. It happens through action. Hundreds of people were detained in the last few days. Lawyers were detained. Defense was disabled. If reform is to be made, the isolation must be lifted; otherwise no reform would be credible."
MA/ Emrullah Acar

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