CPT delegation visits Imrali
CPT met with senior officials of the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs, on the implementation of long-standing recommendations made by the CPT concerning Imralı Prison.
A delegation of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out an ad hoc visit to Turkey from 20 to 29 September 2022.
CPT said in a written statement on Monday, October 3, that the main objective of the visit was to examine the treatment and conditions of detention of foreign nationals detained under aliens’ legislation as well as the procedures applied to them in the context of their removal.
On the occasion of the visit, the delegation also went to Imralı F-type High-Security Prison, in order to examine the treatment and conditions of detention of all (four) prisoners currently held in the establishment. In this connection, particular attention was paid to the communal activities offered to the prisoners and their contacts with the outside world.
Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan and his fellow prisoners Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş in Imrali have been subjected to aggravated isolation and denied meetings with both family members and lawyers for years.
The CPT is the only international body possessing the authority to visit prisons without the permission of governments in the 46 member states of the Council of Europe. CPT has sent a delegation to Imrali 8 times since 1999, and only 3 times in the past 10 years. The last visit by a six-person CPT delegation took place in May 2019.
In the course of the visit, the delegation met Süleyman Soylu, Minister of the Interior, Savaş Ünlü, Head of the Presidency of Migration Management, and senior officials from the Ministry of the Interior (including the Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command). The delegation also held consultations with Akın Gürlek, Deputy Minister of Justice, and Enis Yavuz Yıldırım, Director General of Prisons and Detention Centres, as well as with other senior officials of the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs, on the implementation of long-standing recommendations made by the CPT concerning Imralı Prison.
At the end of the visit, the delegation presented its preliminary observations to the Turkish authorities.