CPT must announce its report immediately

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  • 10:23 5 December 2022
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ISTANBUL - ÖHD Co-Chair İlknur Alcan stated that law and international law have been disabled in İmralı Prison, and that the CPT, whose existence has become suspicious, should immediately announce its report.
There has been no news for 20 months from PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held under heavy isolation conditions in İmralı F Type High Security Prison. The last visit to Imrali Island was carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) delegation between September 20-29. The CPT delegation, which came to Turkey between September 20-29 , announced that they visited Imrali and met with Abdullah Öcalan and 3 other detainees. The lawyers of Asrın Law Office, who had a face-to-face meeting with the CPT delegation on October 13, 2022, stated that the CPT officials did not provide information on Abdullah Öcalan's conditions. In the statement, it was stated that it was heard that Abdullah Öcalan did not attend the meeting during the CPT's visit.
İlknur Alcan, Co-Chair of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), evaluated the CPT's visit to İmralı and Abdullah Öcalan's stance. 
Pointing out that law and international law is disabled in Imrali Prison, Alcan reminded that Imrali Prison has been managed with personal status and practices since February 1999. Stating that Hamili Yıldırım, Ömer Hayri Konar and Veysi Aktaş, who are in the same prison as Öcalan, are also being held under extraordinary isolation conditions, Alcan emphasized that there has been no communication with Öcalan since March 25, 2021. Alcan continued: “Even the minimum rights arising from the law are not used in Imrali. Despite the clear provision regarding lawyer-client meetings in the CMK, requests for meetings are rejected by the administration in an unfair and unlawful manner. Legal rules are norms that are generally regulated for everyone. However, the restriction or non-implementation of these rights for certain groups and individuals is not only against national and international legislation, but also against the principle of equality. Mr. Öcalan has the same rights as convicts in other prisons. Otherwise, the principle of equality cannot be mentioned, the rule of law cannot be mentioned, it cannot be said that there is no discrimination. The people who are most dedicated with the rules of law are law practitioners and administrators. However, it is clear that law enforcement and prison administrations are the ones committing the most serious violations in the current situation.”
Emphasizing that Öcalan's access to lawyers and family has been blocked since 2011, Alcan said, "Mr. Öcalan cannot enjoy any of the rights that a normal prisoner in Turkey has. His lawyers learn about the disciplinary punishment he received because his right to access a lawyer is denied, by chance, from the execution judge. Their lawyers cannot make a legal application against disciplinary penalties. This is the case not only for Mr. Öcalan, but also for other detainees in İmralı. We are faced with completely exceptional, arbitrary and private law practices in İmralı Prison. Neither the law nor the constitution is applied anymore, and no international law is being applied, in fact."
Regarding the Asrın Law Office's statement that "Mr. Öcalan did not meet with the CPT", Alcan said: "According to the statement of Asrın Law Office, the CPT announced that a visit was made to İmralı, although it was not on its schedule. It also stated that  Mr. Öcalan did not want to meet with them. Previously, state officials interrupted Mr. Öcalan's phone conversation with his brother. We can interpret Öcalan's feeling of not meeting with the CPT was a protest. This is a very natural right and whoever this prisoner is should enjoy this right. Unfortunately, although the CPT has determined in its previous visits that the isolation in Imrali Prison is against the prohibition of torture, nothing has changed since that day, in fact, the isolation conditions in Imrali have worsened. ”
Stating that the CPT has not fulfilled its duties and responsibilities, Alcan underlined that the CPT should share its report with the public in line with its findings in Imrali Prison. Alcan said, “Due to the CPT's duty, it comes and inspects the prisons and announces its report six months later. But they leave the authority for the report to be shared with the public to the state it visits. This situation puts the committee in a suspicious position. The CPT has determined that it violated the prohibition of torture on Imrali Island in its previous visits. In order to eliminate this, the CPT needs to announce this report and share it with the public and international institutions. The public also needs to raise their voices and take initiatives. The prohibition of preventing lawyers from meeting with their clients is against both their own laws and international conventions.
Underlining that 775 lawyers have applied for a visit and applied to the bar associations, Alcan told that the applications will continue.
MA / Esra Solin Dal 

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