Demanding an urgent visit to Imrali, Öcalan’s lawyers meet with the CPT

Lawyers of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan met with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) in Strasbourg. Lawyer İbrahim Bilmez stated that they demanded an urgent visit of a delegation to İmralı.

The lawyers of Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who held a series of meetings with European Union institutions in Strasbourg, France, also met with the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT).

İbrahim Bilmez, one of the lawyers who took part in the meeting, said the following regarding the meeting on Thursday: "We have been meeting with the CPT regularly since 1999 whenever we have the opportunity. When we do not meet, we report on the developments in İmralı every three to four months on average. It was a meeting in this context."

Bilmez said, "We conveyed to them the latest situation from our side regarding the situation in İmralı. We told them that we have not received any news for about three years, how much this situation worries us and the Kurdish people, and its negative reflections on the society in Turkey. We conveyed our demands. We expressed that we were not even informed about the health status of Mr Öcalan and our clients there. And we stated that the CPT should therefore announce the report it prepared after its last visit."

‘We requested the CPT to make an urgent visit’

Lawyer İbrahim Bilmez said, "In addition, even if that report is announced, since it is no longer up to date, we requested the CPT to make an urgent visit to Turkey at least for the health status issue. Because the situation of not receiving news really worries people."

Regarding the response of the CPT, İbrahim Bilmez said, "They listened to us, took note of our requests and said that they would share them with the members of the committee."

Asked whether the CPT gave any information about their meetings with the Turkish government, Bilmez said: "They always give us the same answer. They say, 'according to our own rules, we cannot give any information about our talks with the Turkish government.' This is always their answer. But they also say this: İmralı is always on our agenda."

Thousands of letters from Turkish prisons to the CPT

According to Bilmez, the CPT officials said that they had received thousands of letters from different prisons in Turkey condemning the situation in İmralı, and that this had pushed the CPT to put Imralı on its agenda.

Bilmez stated that they held talks with parliamentarians from different countries and different groups at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and added, "We also spoke about the state of incommunicado with Imrali. Some of the parliamentarians we talked with said they had brought it onto the agenda of the General Assembly. We find this very important, and we will continue this work because representatives and parliamentarians of around 40 states affiliated to the Council of Europe are coming together here. And thus, they also learn about this unlawfulness."