International Delegation Against Isolation meets families of Imrali prisoners

12 members of the International Delegation Against Isolation met in Amed (Diyarbakir) with the families of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, Veysi Aktaş and Ömer Hayri Konar who are held in isolation in İmralı.

During an ongoing visit to Turkey, 12 members of the "International Delegation Against Isolation", which consists of 36 lawyers, journalists and academics from 7 different countries, have arrived in Amed (Diyarbakir). The delegation, which is scheduled to hold meetings between January 25-27, was welcomed in Amed by lawyers from the Asrın Law Office and the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD). The delegation first met with Öcalan’s brother Mehmet Öcalan, Öcalan’s nephew and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MP Ömer Öcalan, Veysi Aktaş's mother Faike Aktaş and Ömer Hayri Konar's brother Ali Konar. In a closed meeting, family members talked about the aggravated isolation conditions that their relatives have long been subjected to. 

After the meeting, the families made a statement. Speaking here, Ömer Öcalan said the following:“Activists from abroad visited us, families. We informed them about the unlawfulness practiced in the Imrali prison where laws and human rights have been suspended. We will overcome these human rights violations through solidarity. We know that Kurdistan and Turkey are under isolation as a whole.

We attach great importance to this visit. We demand that lawyers go to Imrali and meet with Mr. Öcalan and his fellow inmates. This is our legal right. The Kurdish question is a burning issue, the importance of which is known to everyone. A meeting with Öcalan should be enabled so as to put our people’s mind at ease. We want to receive information about Öcalan's health. International solidarity is important for the Kurdish people, and our struggle will continue, taking inspiration from Mr. Öcalan's paradigm. The first thing to do is to lift his isolation.”

Speaking after, Öcalan’s brother Mehmet Öcalan said: “What is going on in Imrali should not be accepted by anyone. We demand that Turkey’s laws also be applied in Imrali. It is our appeal to everyone to act urgently before it is too late. Political parties other than the HDP remain silent on this issue. This is wrong and unacceptable.”

Veysi Aktaş's mother, Faike Aktaş, said: “We want nothing but peace.”

The ‘International Delegation Against Isolation’ was formed against the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. 12 members of the delegation will hold meetings in Istanbul, Ankara and Amed (Diyarbakir) between January 25-28. The group first visited lawyers of the Asrın Law Office in Istanbul, which defends Abdullah Öcalan and his fellow prisoners, Ömer Hayri Konar, Veysi Aktaş and Hamili Yıldırım in Imrali Island Prison.

The delegation then met with the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) in Ankara. The delegation first attended a meeting at the TTB, which was attended by TTB Secretary General Vedat Bulut, lawyers from the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Law and Human Rights Commission Co-Spokesperson Serhat Eren. TTB Central Committee President Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, who was released from prison only recently, attended the meeting online.

During the meeting at the TTB, the aggravated isolation in Imrali F Type High Security Prison, as well as its repercussions on other Turkish prisons, were discussed. The TTB called attention to the maltreatment of sick prisoners.

After the meeting, the delegation visited the HRFT Headquarters. HRFT’s head Metin Bakkalcı was present during the meeting, which was held closed to the press.