Human Rights Association co-chair: We don't accept isolation!

Talking about the isolation imposed on Öcalan from the law and human rights point of view, IHD co-chair Öztürk Türkdoğan said that the re-imposed isolation is illegal and that these practices are not human.

Underlining that the isolation against the Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan, which was reintroduced on 7 August 2019, is not human and that the IHD do not accept it, the organisation's co-chair, Öztürk Türkdoğan, said: "The isolation has been once again imposed on Abdullah Öcalan and the three other prisoners who are with him in Imralı. As human rights defenders, we certainly do not find isolation human.

As stated in various resolutions of the United Nations Committee against Torture, we consider isolation as one of the action that violates the prohibition of torture, ill-treatment and degrading behavior. The problem is not only that isolation is not human. Its strict implementation is also against the law. So there is a law of executions in Turkey, there is a statute of execution. When we look at these laws, there is currently no legal decision regarding the prohibition of visits by the lawyers in Imrali Prison. Therefore, it is completely arbitrary and political that lawyers are not allowed to visit their clients in Imrali."

Türkdoğan added: "When we come to the issue of family members, the prison authorities justify the prohibition for visits with some unspecified 'penalties'. It is completely against human rights law to impose a ban on the visits by family members."

Türkdoğan said that they occasionally discussed problems about prisons with the Ministry of Justice. "We also held a meeting with Minister of Justice, Abdülhamit Gül, on 15 January 2020. The Minister listened to us. We believe that if the Ministry of Justice contributed to the solution of the problem in 2019, it could contribute this time."

Türkdoğan added: "Abdullah Öcalan is not an ordinary prisoner. His messages, which will be reflected to the public, will contribute to the solution of many problems. We know that the hunger strikes that started in 2019 ended after the call issued by Abdullah Öcalan."

The IHD co-chair continued: "Frankly, I think this is the most important reason why he is not being allowed to see his lawyers. Because the Kurdish problem in Turkey is being treated by the state as a "security" issue. Armed clashes and war continue. Therefore, as long as these security policies continue, the government does not want to hear messages talking about developing peace policies against this security approach.

We know very well that we can only solve the Kurdish question, that has been going on since the Ottoman Empire, with the construction of a new peace process. Therefore, in the step to be taken at this point, I think the messages given by such an important person like Abdullah Öcalan will be crucial."

Türkdoğan ended his remarks by saying that "the political power should understand that the Kurdish people won't stop demanding the rights of their leader to be respected. Furthermore, clearly the words and suggestions made by Öcalan need to be taken into consideration if we really want to address the Kurdish question and its solution.
As human rights defenders, we are always on the side of peace and we will continue our efforts to solve problems in a peaceful way. The primary thing to do to favour this will be the elimination of isolation and we will strive for the establishment of an environment in which dialogue could flourish again."