Imrali Peace Delegation visits Öcalan’s lawyers and discusses isolation
Members of the International Imrali Peace Delegation visited the lawyers of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and received information about his isolation and the current political situation.
Members of the International Imrali Peace Delegation visited the Asrın Law Office and received information about the isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.
The delegation consisted of three representatives from three different countries. Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Denis O'Hearn, Deputy Chair of the Left Group in the Council of Europe, a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and a member of the Monitoring Committee, Laura Castel, and former Minister of Justice and Interior of Iceland Ögmundur Jonasson will meet with civil society and legal organizations in Istanbul on May 11-12.
The delegation first visited the Asrın Law Office, where they were welcomed by lawyers Raziye Öztürk, Emran Emekçi, İbrahim Bilmez and Rezan Sarıca.
BILMEZ: LAWS UNDERMINED IN TURKEY
Speaking at the meeting, İbrahim Bilmez said: “Mr. Abdullah Öcalan is not an ordinary person. His situation concerns the people. He has been subjected to unprecedented isolation. The laws in Turkey are already undermined . When it comes to Kurds, Abdullah Öcalan and the dissidents, the laws are trampled down.”
Defining the practices on Imrali as unlawful and arbitrary, Bilmez added that the Kurdish people saw Öcalan as a "leader".
NO NEWS FOR 25 MONTHS
Bilmez remarked that Öcalan was in favour of a peaceful solution to the problems. He said: “Öcalan comes up with the most reasonable solution proposals. Therefore, the Kurdish question is also affected by the isolation imposed on him. It's hard to separate the two. Politicians resort to speculations about our client, from whom we have not heard for 25 months. In his last phone call on March 25, 2021, he told his brother that he wanted to meet with his lawyers. This phone call was interrupted. We have not heard from him since. That is why we find the discussions by politicians unethical.”
Bilmez revealed that the "aggravated life imprisonment" was first introduced and applied for Öcalan, which was later imposed on other prisoners.
SARICA: THERE ARE TORTURE CONDITIONS IN IMRALI
Lawyer Sarıca called attention to the bans and disciplinary punishments imposed by the government and denial of visits by lawyers and families.
Sarıca pointed out that Turkey has entered a "tunnel" of conflict for the last 8 years, during the course of which the Kurdish people, Kurdish politicians and representatives have been criminalized.
“On the eve of the May 14 elections, torture conditions are maintained on Imrali,” said Sarıca, reacting to the "immoral" political discourse against Öcalan in the election campaign.
“Those who seek to rule the country are doing politics without mentioning human rights and laws.”
CPT'S STANCE ON ISOLATION UNCHANGED FOR 25 YEARS
Answering a question by the delegation on Turkey-EU relations, the lawyers stated that it would not be possible for Turkey to join the EU without solving the Kurdish question.
Lawyers noted that Turkey’s accession to the EU gained momentum during the de-escalation period as a result of the ceasefire suggested by Öcalan.
In a reference to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT)'s approach to Imralı, Sarıca pointed out that the CPT's stance on Öcalan's isolation has remained unchanged for 25 years.
EU DOES NOT PUT PRESSURE ON TURKEY
Raziye Öztürk, another lawyer of Asrın Law Office, noted they had submitted applications to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee (HRC) and the Urgent Action Committee on behalf of Asrın Law Office.
She added that the HRC had ruled in favor of ending the isolation of Öcalan and allowing him to meet his lawyers twice in a row.
Öztürk emphasized that the EU did not fully use its right to put pressure on Turkey because of their relations based on interests.
JONASSON: TURKEY IS AFRAID OF THE KURDS
In his speech, delegation member Ögmundur Jonasson recalled his previous visit to Amed (Diyarbakır) and said: “As long as Turkey remains a NATO member, it will not be afraid of the actions of the EU or any other force. However, Turkey is afraid of the Kurds. We are aware of this. That's why we stand by you and the Kurds."
Delegation member Laura Castel said that a solution to the Kurdish question could only be achieved through the physical liberation of Öcalan and negotiations.
Lawyer Emran Emekçi remarked that Öcalan was always ready to fulfil this role and added: "He attributes his reason to live and resist to this."
After the speeches, the lawyers presented the 2022 report on the violations on Imrali to the members of the delegation.