Ill prisoner Akay kept in an isolation cell since 2016
Soydan Akay's brother and lawyer, Veysel Akay, exposed the situation of his brother, who had been kept in solitary confinement for nearly four years despite his serious health problems, and for hundreds of other ill prisoners in his situation.
Soydan Akay has been in an isolation cell since 2018 and has been struggling with health problems such as prostate cancer, chronic hepatitis, joint rheumatism, heart spasm and kidney ailments for many years.
Soydan Akay, who was taken into custody in 1993 on the grounds that he was the PKK Aegean Region Officer, was subjected to heavy torture for days. Akay, who was deported to Izmir Buca, Aydın, Nazilli, Kırıklar, Siirt, Diyarbakır and Maltepe prisons, has been held in Silivri High Security Prison No. 9 since 2016.
Akay published various articles in different newspapers and magazines and in 2019 published a research on Hebrews, called "Çellar Çiçekleri".
The opera named Fidelio, which was re-released in Germany in 2020 on the occasion of Beethoven's 200th birthday by Bonn Opera, was about his life and was very successful.
Soydan Akay's brother and lawyer, Veysel Akay, said that in 2009, when his brother was in Siirt Prison, he was injected with the hepatitis virus during the treatment given a by a doctor.
Stating that despite the detection of the incident in the following years, it was not possible to initiate any legal proceedings as it could not be proven legally, lawyer Akay said: "Because of the severe torture Soydan was subjected to and the bad conditions he lived in prisons, he is now suffering of prostate cancer, chronic hepatitis, joint rheumatism, heart disease. He received radiation therapy for prostate cancer in 2021 and his controls are still ongoing."
With a regulation that came into effect as of January 2021, the approval of the Prison Monitoring Boards working under the Ministry of Justice is required for PKK prisoners to benefit from the Right to Probation, said the lawyer adding that “this is for purely arbitrary and degrading purposes as prisoners are asked to repent themselves. It is clear that prisoners who spend their lives in prisons for their thoughts will not accept this imposition. As a matter of fact, in the last year, many prisoners have not been released on the grounds that they were not showing a 'good behaviour'.”
Saying that Soydan's detention in a solitary cell caused his health problems to worsen, Akay added: "He has been kept in an isolation cell since April 2018. He is not even allowed to meet other prisoners since this date. It is against the relevant international law. In my meeting with the General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses in person in February 2020, it was stated that they could not do anything about the ministry's decision. For nearly 4 years, there has been a real disinterest in all correspondence and negotiations between the ministry and the prison administration. In our opinion, the practice definitely stems from the Ministry of Justice."
Appeal to the CPT
Lawyer Akay said that Soydan was attacked by a person in plain clothes while waiting in line among ten soldiers on the prison campus on 28 October 2021, and added that both Soydan and the lawyers' applications to the Ministry of Justice regarding the issue were inconclusive.
Lawyer Akay said: "This situation makes us deeply worried," and added that they applied to the CPT because the domestic legal remedies were not functioning effectively and the administrative investigations were inconclusive.
A prison within the prison
Lawyer Akay made the following call: “We call on the public opinion and civil society to be sensitive to the case of Soydan, who has been kept in solitary confinement for nearly four years despite his serious health problems. He is kept in a prison within the prison. It is incomprehensible that hundreds of seriously ill prisoners are subjected to unlawful and illegal practices against human dignity."