Isolation Bulletin: 24 years of isolation, 3 years of 'absolute incommunicado’ in İmralı

In ÖHD's 'Isolation Bulletin', it was pointed out that no news has been received from İmralı for 3 years in a state of absolute incommunicado.

The 7th issue of the 'Isolation Bulletin' prepared every 15 days by the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) has been published.

In the bulletin, which was published with the aim of raising public awareness about the isolation in İmralı F Type High Security Prison, it was reminded that the 38th month has passed without any news from Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan and other prisoners Hamili Yıldırım, Veysi Aktaş and Ömer Hayri Konar, who are kept under severe isolation.

In the bulletin, it was emphasised that İmralı has been under isolation for 24 years, 2 months and 18 days, family visits have been denied for 4 years, 1 month and 30 days, lawyer visits have been denied for 4 years, 8 months and 26 days, and "absolute incommunicado" has been applied for 2 years, 13 months and 7 days.

The response of the General Directorate of Prisons and Detention Houses of the Ministry of Justice to the application made by the Peoples' Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) on 7 December 2023 was also mentioned in the bulletin, saying, In the information provided under the title "Ministry of Justice denied the isolation", it was stated that: “The Directorate denied the absolute isolation in İmralı Island Prison and claimed that prisoners equally benefit from all rights granted by law and regulations. Asrin Law Office, on the other hand, called on the Ministry of Justice to explain when the last meeting in İmralı was held."

The bulletin also drew attention to the situation of Veysi Aktaş, who is held in İmralı and whose release was postponed for a year. In the section under the title "Veysi Aktaş's Release Prevented", it was stated that while Veysi Aktaş was supposed to be released on 28 April 2024, according to the previous release schedule prepared by the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, his release was postponed for 1 year with the decision of the Administration and Observation Board. Emphasising that the decision is against the law, the bulletin was stated that "This decision, which means the usurpation of Mr Aktaş's freedom, was not notified to his lawyers."

The bulletin also provided information the ongoing protests by political prisoners demanding "freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and a democratic solution to the Kurdish question". The second page of the bulletin included in the ongoing boycott action in prisons, and the statements of Alan Mitchel, President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), who said that the committee visited İmralı in 2022 and prepared a report, but that the report could only be published with Turkey's approval.

The bulletin also includes the evaljuations made by Juan Prosper, a lawyer from the Paris Bar Association and a participant in the conference held at the European Parliament on 11 April, regarding the legal dimension of the İmralı isolation and the CPT's approach to the isolation in question.