DEM Party applies to Ministry to meet Abdullah Öcalan


ANKARA - DEM Party Legal Commission Co-Speakers Sevda Çelik Özbingöl and Öztürk Türkdoğan applied to the Ministry of Justice to meet with PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has not been heard from for 39 months.

People's Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) Legal Commission Co-Speakers Sevda Çelik Özbingöl and Öztürk Türkdoğan applied for a meeting with PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held under heavy isolation in a solitary cell in the Type F High Security Prison on Imrali Island for 25 years. Özbingöl and Türkdoğan applied to the Ministry of Justice with a petition to meet with Öcalan, who has been prevented from being taken from him for 39 months.
In the application petition, it was reminded that there was no news from Öcalan and Veysi Aktaş, Ömer Hayri Konar and Hamili Yıldırım, who were held in the same prison, for a long time. In the application, which refers to Öcalan's last meetings with his brother Mehmet Öcalan and his lawyer, it was stated, ""The ban on meeting Mr. Öcalan and other convicts and lawyers held on Imrali Island Prison continued uninterruptedly for 8 years, from 27 July 2011 to 2 May 2019. Lawyer meetings were held 5 times in 2019, and the uninterrupted ban application was restarted after the last lawyer's meeting on August 7, 2019.
In the application, it was reminded that the demands for meetings made by lawyers and family members were blocked by the prison administration on the grounds of repeated disciplinary penalties, and that the disciplinary penalties were not notified to the lawyers and that no information was given about the reasons.
In the application made by Öcalan's lawyers to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2014, the ECHR stated that "detention in prison until death without the right to conditional release" in the aggravated life imprisonment sentence violates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).  In the application it was underlined that it decided to "violate the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment" in Article 3. The Association of Lawyers for Freedom, the Human Rights Association, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, the Society and Legal Research Foundation applied to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 26 July 2021 to fulfill the ECHR decision, and upon the Committee's demand for information, the Ministry of Justice. In its response, it was emphasized that it accepted that the execution regime applied to Öcalan is an 'exception'.
In the application, it was reminded that in the applications made to the Constitutional Court, the Ministry of Justice was asked for a meeting, and the Ministry responded that "there is no ill-treatment on Imrali Island Prison", that there were disruptions in the meetings due to "unforeseen reasons" and that this situation was "reasonable". In the application, the response letter given by the General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses to the GNAT Human Rights Investigation Commission dated February 23, 2024 was stated to be far from reality and it was stated that "Your Ministry has not been able to explain the legal reasons for the state of absolute lack of communication that goes beyond the isolation."
In the application, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) stated in its report announced on August 5, 2020, regarding its visit to Imrali Prison in 2019, that there was a complete ban on Öcalan and three other people's contact with the outside world, and that this situation in which they were not allowed to meet with anyone was a kind of cell. It was reminded that it is considered to be incommunicado. "In its assessment, the CPT stated that such a situation is unacceptable and contrary to the relevant international human rights instruments and standards" the application said.
It was stated that Öcalan's lawyers applied to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in late 2022. In the application, the following was stated: "The Committee sent this application to Turkey and demanded interim measures, including ending the state of 'incommunicado', which is a state of absolute lack of communication, and allowing lawyers to meet with their clients immediately without interruption, but Turkey did not take any steps despite this.
The ban on lawyers visiting Imrali Island Prison clearly violates the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules), which were updated in 2015, the recommendations of the CPT and Turkey's Execution Law No. 5275. States are obliged to ensure that detainees and convicts exercise their rights, regardless of their identities and the nature of their sentences.
As stated in principles 8 and 16 of the United Nations Fundamental Principles on the Role of Lawyers; Lawyers must be able to carry out all kinds of professional activities without facing any pressure, obstruction, harassment or corrupt interference, and to travel freely and meet with their clients at home and abroad. In addition, in accordance with Article 59 of the Law No. 5275 on the Execution of Penalties and Security Measures, convicts have the right to meet with a lawyer. It is clear that the ongoing illegal lawyer ban on Imrali Island Prison must be ended and lawyer visits must be made immediately and their continuity must be ensured."
The following demands were included in the interview application:
"* Take necessary and compulsory initiatives to abandon the policy of absolute non-communication that exceeds the isolation on Imrali Island Prison, to recognize the principles of universal law, and to ensure that Abdullah Öcalan and other convicts Veysi Aktaş, Ömer Hayri Konar and Hamili Yıldırım are visited by their guardians, family and lawyers immediately,
 *As the President of the Council of Judges and Prosecutors, must take initiatives to initiate all kinds of judicial and administrative investigations against those who caused the absolute lack of communication on Imrali Island Prison,
 * As the lawyers who are the co-spokespersons of the DEM Party Law and Human Rights Commission, we demand that give us permission to meet with Abdullah Öcalan and other prisoners Veysi Aktaş, Ömer Hayri Konar and Hamili Yıldırım in the prison."

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