CPT travels 2 thousand 394 km, lawyers 124 km away are not allowed

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  • 12:29 2 December 2022
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ANKARA - While the CPT delegation traveled 2,394 kilometers from Strasbourg to Imrali Island, lawyers who are 124 kilometers away are not allowed to meet with PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan.
PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held in Imrali Type F High Security Prison under severe isolation conditions, has been facing a ban on lawyers since July 27, 2011, although he held 5 meetings with his lawyers in 2019 as a result of the hunger strike actions. Abdullah Öcalan, whose family visits are also blocked, cannot be heard from after the last intermittent phone call on March 25, 2021.
The last visit to Imrali Island was made by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) delegation between September 20-29. During its last visit to Turkey, the CPT announced that it met Abdullah Öcalan and other prisoners Ömer Hayri Konar, Veysi Aktaş and Hamili Yıldırım in İmralı Type F High Security Prison.
In the statement dated November 29, Asrın Law Office, which is the defense attorney of Abdullah Öcalan, said: "We have heard that Mr. Öcalan did not attend the meeting during the CPT's visit to İmralı Island in September 2022." The PKK leader's failure to attend the meeting was interpreted as a protest against the lawyer's social barrier. As a matter of fact, in the last meeting he held with his brother Mehmet Öcalan on March 25, 2021, Öcalan said: “I want my lawyers to come here and talk to me. This is a legal thing. Why don't they come here? If there is going to be a meeting, it should be with lawyers."
The aggravated isolation in Imralı Prison, where Abdullah Öcalan has been held for 23 years, was perpetuated despite the visits of the CPT and the reports it prepared after these visits. The CPT official, who was on Imrali Island and met Abdullah Öcalan on February 15, 1999, said: "Now these are your conditions, but we will continue to monitor", but the CPT remained observing the isolation system.
In the CPT standards, it is said that “It is also very important that prisoners maintain reasonable contact with the outside world. Above all, prisoners should be given the opportunity to maintain relationships with their families or close friends. The basic principle here should be to support contact with the outside world”, although these principles are not applied.
While the CPT traveled 2,394 kilometers from Strasbourg, France, 9 times in 23 years, to Imrali, lawyers who are 124 kilometers away are not allowed to go to the Island.
MA / Özgür Paksoy

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