Deputies and senators from the Spanish State send letter to CPT president asking to act for Öcalan

Deputies and senators of different political parties in the Spanish State Parliament, as well as deputies in the autonomous parliaments, sent a letter to the president of the CPT.

Deputies and senators of different political parties in the Spanish State Parliament, as well as deputies in the autonomous parliaments, sent a letter to Dr. Alan Mitchell, President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment with "the desire to express and share with you the concerns of millions of Kurds and people in solidarity in the Spanish State regarding the situation of human rights and prisoners in Turkey. The degree of solitary confinement that many of them suffer, which reaches total isolation, is an obvious form of torture."

The letter said: "For the past 36 months, Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, who is seen by millions of Kurds as their legitimate political representative, has been held in an extreme form of incommunicado detention by the Turkish state on the prison island of Imrali. During this illegal and inhumane isolation, Mr. Öcalan has effectively been “disappeared” and dropped into a void of “non-existence,” as he is being denied all contact with the outside world, including his lawyers and close family members.

Throughout this period, Turkey has attempted to transform Imrali Island into a “floating coffin”. Mr. Öcalan, who is now 75 years old, has been subjected to cruel torture through isolation for 25 years, but over the last three years, no information at all has been provided concerning his health, giving cause for serious disquiet. At this point, even his whereabouts cannot be confirmed, and his physical condition is a highly sensitive issue for many Kurds who see him as embodying their national voice."

The letter continued: "It is for these compelling reasons that we are kindly asking you, the CPT, to take some immediate action. Only this will allay any fears. As the CPT, you are legally entitled to visit all places of detention of states which are party to the Convention, and this includes Turkey. This invests you with the powers and ability to send your team of experts to Imrali, where the Turkish government are obliged to grant you unrestricted access to visit Mr. Öcalan where he is being held captive and to allow you to interview him in private, so he can communicate with you in confidence free from any duress.

We would like the CPT to act in accordance with Article 3 of the CoE Statute, which states that: “Every member of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of the rule of law and the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Mr. Öcalan is a citizen of a CoE member state that has been denying him his human rights for two and half decades, and for the last three years, has been depriving him of his basic legal rights to meet with his lawyers and speak with his family."

The letter added: "All we ask, with complete sincerity, is that you please carry out your responsibilities immediately by sending a delegation to visit Imrali Island to speak with Mr. Öcalan and check on his well-being. Following that, we would greatly appreciate it if you could encourage Turkey to allow him to receive a visit from his family and lawyers, to bring them into full compliance with CoE and CPT obligations. This would help address an urgent human rights issue and concern for millions of Kurds and could also renew the spirit of reconciliation, which is urgently needed to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey.

With gratitude for your time and in the hope that you understand this as a heartfelt plea."

The letter was signed by: 

• Àgueda Micó i Micó, deputy for Valencia, G.P. Plurinational SUMAR (GSUMAR)
• Agustín Santos Maraver, deputy for Madrid, G.P. Plurinational SUMAR (GSUMAR)
• Francisco Sierra Caballero, deputy for Seville, G.P. Plurinational SUMAR (GSUMAR)
• Gerardo Pisarello Prados, deputy for Barcelona G.P. Plurinational SUMAR (GSUMAR)
• Javier Sánchez Serna, deputy for Murcia, G.P. Confederation of Unidas Podemos-En Comú Podem-Galicia en Común (GCUP-EC-GC)
• Jorge Pueyo Sanz, deputy for Chunta Aragonesista (CHA), G.P. Plurinational SUMAR (GSUMAR)
• Marije Fullaondo La Cruz, deputy for Bizkaia, G.P. EH Bildu (GEH Bildu)
• Martina Velarde Gómez, deputy for Granada, G.P. Mixed (GMx)
• Nahuel González López, deputy for Valencia, G.P. Plurinational SUMAR (GSUMAR)
• Néstor Rego Candamil, deputy for Coruña, Galician Nationalist Bloc G.P. Mixed (GMx)
• Noemí Santana Perera, deputy for Gran Canaria, spokesperson for Podemos G.P. Confederation of Unidas Podemos-En Comú Podem-Galicia en Común (GCUP-EC-GC)
• Oskar Matute Matute García de Jalón, deputy for Bizkaia, GP EH Bildu (GEH Bildu)
• Carme Da Silva Méndez, Senator, Plural Parliamentary Group (GPPLU) Galician Nationalist Bloc (BNG)
• Estefanía Beltrán de Heredia Arroniz, Senator, Basque Parliamentary Group (EAJ-PNV) (GPV)
• Gorka Elejabarrieta Diaz, senator, GP Left for Independence ERC EH Bildu (GPERB)
• Igotz López Torre, senator, Basque Parliamentary Group (EAJ-PNV) (GPV)
• Josu Estarrona Elizondo, senator, GP Left for Independence ERC-EH Bildu (GPERB)
• Laura Castel i Fort, senator GP Left for Independence ERC-EH Bildu, (GPERB) Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)
• Luis Jesús Uribe Etxebarria Apalategi, senator, Basque Parliamentary Group (EAJ-PNV) (GPV)
• Nerea Ahedo Ceza, senator, Basque Parliamentary Group (EAJ-PNV) (GPV), Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)
• Olaia Duarte López, senator, GP Left for Independence ERC-EH Bildu (GPERB)
• Diana Urrea, deputy, Basque Parliament
• Edurne Benito Antolín, member of the Basque Parliament
• Igor Zulaika, deputy, Basque Parliament
• Irati Jimenez Aragón, deputy, Parliament of Navarra
• Oihana Etxebarrieta, deputy, Basque Parliament

• Pernando Barrena Erza, MEP