Asrın Law Office calls on CPT to "visit Imralı urgently"

Asrın Law Office has applied to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture to visit Imralı and Abdullah Öcalan urgently.

There has been no news for 3 years from Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan and the other prisoners in Imralı, Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş.

Asrın Law Office made an application to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) regarding the developments covering 30 April 2023 and 31 July 2023.

In the application, it was reminded that no news has been received from Abdullah Öcalan, Hamili Yıldırım, Ömer Hayri Konar and Veysi Aktaş since 25 March 2021.

Right to communicate through letter denied

The application stated that lawyers and family visits were blocked, and added: “The right to communicate by letter is also prohibited. The applicants, who have been deprived of all their rights protected by the law, including access to a lawyer, the right to defense, and the right to a fair trial, are kept in complete and absolute isolation, with no communication with the outside world. This application to the CPT includes our information and requests regarding the current absolute isolation and incommunicado status, which carries the risk of all kinds of violations. It also denounces the conditions of detention that systematically violate the prohibition of torture.”

37 applications without answers in three months

Emphasizing that the "incommunicado" status has deepened, the application underlines that 25 requests for lawyers' visits and 12 for family visits were made in the 3-month period from 30 April to 31 July 2023, but all of them went unanswered.

The lawyers also noted that the fate of the letters sent to Imralı is unknown.

Disciplinary punishments

The lawyers said that new "disciplinary punishments" continued to be given in the past three months, and added that despite the completion of the execution of the last 3-month "disciplinary punishment" given on 30 June 2023, the applications for family visits made as of July were rejected.

The lawyers pointed out that they learned that a new "disciplinary punishment" with an unknown date was given as they presented the application made to the Bursa Execution Judge on 10 July.

The application said that the lawlessness was tried to be covered up with this new “disciplinary punishment”.

Lawyers emphasized that all administrative and judicial ban decisions lack both material and legal basis.

Very serious concerns

The application said: “It has been clearly stated that the practice of not meeting with a lawyer since 27 July 2011 is a political decision that is not based on international and domestic law. (…)"

The application also said that there were "concerns about Abdullah Öcalan’s life, health and legal safety” and that these concerns “have reached the highest level". The application also noted that the AKP government did not fulfil the CPT's determinations and recommendations, advocated unlawful acts and tried to achieve political benefits.

The application also stated that the committee should abandon its attitude of operating the usual procedures, and warned that "tomorrow may be too late".

Urgent request for visit

Asrın Law Office said that the CPT should visit Imralı as a matter of "urgency" and listed its demands as follows:

"*A Committee's urgent visit to the Imrali Island Prison [is needed], together with the urgent public disclosure of the CPT’s report and findings regarding its last visit,

*Immediate execution and continuation of lawyer visits, and the elimination of their obstruction by unlawful court decisions,

* Carrying out and ensuring the continuity of family and guardian visits, and ending the prevention of unlawful disciplinary punishments,

*In parallel with the establishment of visiting rights, ensuring that the applicants use their routine telephone rights to call their families and relatives,

*Ensuring that all obstacles to communication with the outside and with lawyers by letter, telegraph and fax are eliminated,

*Ensuring that the actual or illegal practices related to newspapers, magazines and books are ended,

* Taking coercive measures to eliminate torture, inhuman and ill-treatment conditions and incommunicado. The application of the procedures regulated in Article 10/2 of the Convention is requested immediately."