Barbara Spinelli: Lawyers around the world should file appeals to international bodies about Imrali
European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights co-president Barbara Spinelli said that lawyers around the world should be encouraged to file appeals to international bodies about the situation in Imrali.
350 lawyers from 22 countries in Europe applied to the Ministry of Justice, requesting a meeting with Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is held in Imrali F Type High Security Prison, under heavy isolation conditions.
European lawyers European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights (ELDH) held a press conference via Zoom and repeated their application after Öcalan was not allowed to meet with his lawyers.
ELDH co-president Barbara Spinelli said that lawyers around the world should be encouraged to file appeals to international bodies about the situation in Imrali.
"We presented a letter to the Justice Minister of Turkey asking him to remove the ban on lawyers' visits to Imrali," Spinelli said, adding: "The ELDH has always fought for the respect of the right to a fair trial and in particular for the defense of lawyers. For years, we have been international observers at the trials of both Ocalan and other defendants. In 2021, we established together with the most representative bar associations in the World IFTD and the Ebru Timtik awards, which in the first edition were awarded precisely to our colleagues in Turkey."
Spinelli added: "Surely, if we look at the countries that are members of the Council of Europe, Ocalan and the prisoners in Imrali are those whose human rights have been violated the longest and most cruelly, and their lawyers are those who have been prevented in the most blatant manner, for decades, from exercising the defense function for their clients."
Spinelli continued: "Lawyers from around the world should be encouraged to file appeals to international bodies about the situation and to condemn the illegality of the isolation policy and the treatment of Kurdish people, as a means of applying pressure on the Turkish state."
As for the letter, Spinelli underlined that "this is the first step taken after the work of the delegation to remind the Turkish government again of its responsibility to apply the rules of international law by which it is bound and to guarantee for all detainees, including Mr Ocalan and the detainees in Imrali, the right to defense, in accordance with the Nelson Mandela rules, the basic principles on the role of lawyers, the reccomendations of the CPT and Turkish national law itself."
Spinelli confirmed that they had received no answer to the letter but said that they will continue to put pressure on Turkey and to use all possible venues and instruments to ensure that prisoners in Imrali could eventually meet their lawyers.