'Special law' for İmralı on the agenda of Committee of Ministers

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  • 12:13 30 November 2021
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ISTANBUL - At the meeting of the EC Committee of Ministers that will start today, the violation decision of the ECtHR regarding PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan will be discussed. If it is determined that Turkey does not comply with the decision, some sanctions may be imposed on Turkey.
 
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (EC UK) is meeting today in Strasbourg. In the meeting, which will last until December 2, the violation decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan and prisoners Hayati Kaytan, Emin Gurban and Civan Boltan, who are being held in İmralı Type F High Security Closed Prison, will be discussed. It is expected that the violation decisions about Selahattin Demirtaş, former Co-Chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and imprisoned businessman Osman Kavala, who are being held in Edirne Prison, will also be discussed at the meeting.
 
SANCTIONS
 
In the event that the decision of the ECtHR that the aggravated life sentence for Öcalan is in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which prohibits torture and ill-treatment, is not implemented, some sanctions against Turkey may be imposed. Turkey's relations with the EC UK and its membership may also be a matter of debate.
 
VIOLATION DECISION PROCESS
 
The ECtHR decided that the aggravated life sentence for PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held in İmralı Type F High Security Closed Prison since August 15, 1999, is in violation of Article 3 of the ECHR, which prohibits torture and ill-treatment. Following this decision made on March 18, 2014, a violation decision was made for the prisoners Hayati Kaytan, Emin Gurban and Civan Boltan on the same issue. Despite the fact that 7 years have passed since the violation decision for Öcalan and other detainees, no action has been taken, which mobilized legal and human rights organizations.
 
Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), Society and Law Research Foundation (TOHAV), Human Rights Association (İHD) and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) applied to the EC BK on 26 July, which oversees and implements the decisions made by the ECtHR. The committee put the issue on its agenda for the first time and decided to discuss the decision at the meeting to be held between 30 November and 2 December.
 
TWO SEPARATE NITIFICATIONS FROM TURKEY
 
Turkey made two separate notifications after the Committee brought the issue to the agenda. Turkey, which gave the first response to the application of human rights and law organizations on September 7, claimed that there has been no violation in Imrali since 2009. Turkey, on the other hand, ignored the findings and suggestions in the application regarding the "right to hope" and "change in the law on aggravated life sentence", which brought forward the possibility of the release of Öcalan and other detainees. It is noteworthy that Turkey only focused on the report prepared by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) on the physical conditions of Imrali in previous years. Since 2009, Öcalan and other detainees have been prevented from meeting with their families and lawyers for various reasons.
 
SPECIAL LAW
 
In the second statement that Turkey submitted to the Committee on October 7, with the title “Action Plan”, stating that Öcalan and other detainees do not have the right to 'parole', it accepted the “private law” practice in İmralı. In its statement, Turkey pointed to the "Öcalan 2" decision of the ECtHR, and claimed that after November 17, 2009, there was no "ill-treatment" in Imrali. It ignored the fact that since 2009, Öcalan and other detainees have been prevented from meeting with their families and lawyers for various reasons. In the notification, again pointing to the ECtHR decision, it was argued that the "improvements" made in Imrali in the period after November 17, 2009 were appreciated and the violation before 2009 was remedied. However, the application made to the ECtHR on behalf of PKK Leader Öcalan in 2011 regarding the detention conditions in İmralı was ignored.
 
 
MA / Ferhat Çelik 
 

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