Lawyer Arricale: CPT does not opt for publishing its report without Turkish permission

Lawyer Michela Arricale from the International Delegation Against Isolation emphasized that the CPT does not opt for publishing its report without Turkey's permission against the systematic violations of rights in the Imrali prison.

The meetings in Turkey and North Kurdistan of the International Delegation Against Isolation, which consists of 36 people from 7 different countries and was formed to protest the ongoing isolation against Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, have ended. Michela Arricale joined the delegation from Italy, spoke to ANF.


Arricale came to Turkey in previous years to follow the lawsuits of the Contemporary Lawyers Association (ÇHD) and the People's Law Office (HHB), and she is well aware that laws are not enforced in the country. She has been interested in the Kurdish issue since 2016. She revealed that the co-chair of the organization of which she is a member in Italy is a Kurdish woman lawyer. Arricale said that she has been dealing with the isolation imposed on Öcalan for a long time. The Italian lawyer said that she joined the delegation to end this unlawfulness.

Arricale underlined that the isolation in the Imrali prison is unprecedented, adding that such a state of isolation can only be found in a novel like “The Count of Monte Cristo”.


The lawyer pointed out that the Turkish state had to adapt the international conventions to which it is a party to its own laws but did not do so. Moreover, international organizations which are supposed to check whether these conventions are implemented by countries do not make the required interventions. Arricale maintained that these organizations have a political motivation rather than a legal one. She continued: “Due to Turkey's geopolitical position, it has various advantages and various trump cards against European countries. One good example is the refugee problem. We can say that Turkey is using the refugee problem as blackmail to force Europe to do whatever it wants. This is not because Turkey is too strong, but because Europe is weak against these trump cards.”


Arricale added that the same is true for the CPT which recently went to the İmralı prison. She remarked: “The CPT's duty is to prevent torture. However, the CPT says that it cannot publish its report without the permission or approval of the Turkish state. In fact, the CPT has an option to publish its report without the permission of the Turkish state in cases where there are systematic violations of rights, as in the Imrali prison. But it doesn't do that. As I said, this is a political issue. Because the CPT is also an organization affiliated with the Council of Europe. Turkey is also a part of the Council of Europe. When the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe asked Turkey why it did not comply with the ECtHR's 2014 "Right to Hope" decision for Öcalan, Turkey replied that Öcalan was exempted from the Right to Hope. The Council of Europe is well aware that what Turkey is doing is illegal, but here again, there is a political motivation, and the Council of Europe does not care about the non- implementation of this decision. The ECtHR pretends as if this file does not exist. If we can force the court to issue a decision on this file, things could change.”


Arricale contended that sovereign states in many parts of the world use the law as a weapon. She reminded that in Turkey, the government uses the "anti-terror law" to isolate, criminalize and marginalize many oppositional groups and voices.

The Italian lawyer stated that there are three different factors concerning the isolation of Öcalan. These are social, political and legal factors. Arricale pointed out that, from a political point of view, the isolation is used to isolate, destroy and ignore the Kurdish issue.


Arricale pointed out that the isolation was not limited to Turkey alone, and that the isolation policies of all states were actually similar, citing an example from her own country, Italy. She said that the isolation and high security practices put into practice, especially for the mafia and crime rings in Italy, have become widespread against those who oppose the establishment politically. Arricale said: “An anarchist named Alfredo Cospito is currently subjected to these isolation practices. The court demands a life sentence for him for allegedly attempting to overthrow the government. He has been on hunger strike for three months in the prison where he is kept under isolation to protest this unlawfulness, and his health condition is getting worse. His first hearing will be held on March 7, but we don't know if he will survive until then. We are really concerned about his condition. It is very difficult to mobilize the public over this issue. Because whenever you object to unlawfulness, the government immediately says that 'they are terrorists'. The main issue here is not whether we agree with that person, but there is a human rights violation that we must protest under any circumstances.”


The lawyer emphasized that isolation is a form of torture and that it is necessary to oppose it without looking at the identity of the person who is subjected to the isolation. Arricale insisted that this issue should be addressed with its political, social and legal dimensions. She said: “We need to inform the public and mobilize the states to put pressure on this issue. We must strive with all the means at our disposal. Therefore, it is necessary to appeal to the ECtHR or the courts in the slightest violation of rights to raise a voice and to go against it. Maybe we will not be able to enforce these laws immediately, but it will be beneficial for us in future to expose these rights violations.