German personalities send a letter to the CPT

Dozens of German personalities sent a letter to the CPT asking it to promote a delegation to Imrali.

The Solidarity Network Germany for the campaign ‘Freedom for Öcalan - a political solution to the Kurdish question’ sent a letter to the president of the CPT, Mitchell, demanding him to promote a delegation to Imrali to verify the condition of Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan.

The letter said: "As members of a group of representatives of various non-governmental organisations, trade unions, political parties, peace and human rights organisations, activists, academics, professors, lawyers and journalists, we would like to hereby make an urgent call on you.

For 38 months, Abdullah Öcalan, who is regarded by millions of Kurds as their legitimate political representative, has been held by the Turkish state in an extreme form of solitary confinement on the prison island of Imrali. Turkey has made Mr Öcalan ‘disappear’ by way of his inhumane isolation – as if he no longer existed – which is contrary to human rights."

The letter continued: "He has been denied any contact with the outside world, including his lawyers and his family, for over three years now. Throughout this period, Turkey has attempted to literally turn the island of Imrali into a ‘floating coffin’. Mr Öcalan, who is now 75 years old, has been subjected to isolation torture for 25 years, with no information about his health reaching the public in the last three years. At present, not even his whereabouts can be confirmed. Yet, his state of health is a matter of great concern for many Kurds.

We would therefore like to ask you, the CPT, to take action. As the CPT, you have the right and the responsibility to visit all detention centres of the states that have signed the Convention, including Turkey. This gives you the opportunity to send a team of experts to Imrali, where the Turkish government is obliged to grant you unrestricted access. You have the opportunity to visit the prison where Mr Öcalan is detained and you must be allowed to meet him in person so that he can communicate freely with you."

The letter added: "We would like to ask you, the CPT, to act in accordance with Article 3 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, which states: ‘Every member of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and collaborate sincerely and effectively in the realisation of the aim of the Council as specified in Chapter I.’ Mr Öcalan is a citizen of a Council of Europe member state that has denied him his human rights for two and a half decades and that has also denied him the right to meet his lawyers and communicate with his family for three years.

We urge you to send a delegation to Imrali immediately to speak to Mr Öcalan and find out more about his welfare. It would be highly desirable if you could urge Turkey to finally grant Mr Öcalan the fundamental right to meet his family and lawyers. Such action is crucial to ensure that Turkey fully honours its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe. This would help resolve a pressing human rights issue and address the concerns of millions of Kurds. It could also revitalise the spirit of reconciliation that is necessary for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey."

The letter was signed by: 

  1. Prof Dr Alex Demirovic, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
  2. Andrej Hunko, Member of the Bundestag, Sahra Wagenknecht Alliance
  3. Anja Flach, Anja Flach, Ethnologist and author
  4. Anja Popp, Lawyer
  5. Anja Sommerfeld, Member of the Federal Board of Rote Hilfe e.V.                                                   
  6. Anna Magdalena Busl, Lawyer                              
  7. Barbara Majd Amin, Spokesperson for the groups of Peace Coordination Berlin
  8. Cansu Özdemir, Parliamentary group DIE LINKE Hamburg
  9. Carolin Kaufmann, Lawyer
  10. Prof Dr Cengiz Barskanmaz, Fulda University of Applied Sciences
  11. Christa Blum, Doctor, Member of the medical peace organisation IPPNW
  12. Prof Dr Christine Graebsch, Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts
  13. Christine Lüth, Lawyer
  14. Dr Christoph Dembowski, Member of the medical peace organisation IPPNW
  15. Christoph Klug, Qualified psychologist
  16. Prof Dr Daniel Bendix, Friedensau Adventist University of Theology
  17. Dr Dr Dario Azzellini, Political scientist and sociologist
  18. Dieter Kaltenhäuser, Alliance for Justice between Israelis and Palestinians
  19. Elisabeth Kaltenhäuser, Alliance for Justice between Israelis and Palestinians
  20. Erika Wieland, Psychological psychotherapist
  21. Erkan Pehlivan, Journalist
  22. Ernst Ludwid Iskenius, Doctor, member of the medical peace organisation IPPNW
  23. Fabian Scheidler, Publicist
  24. Prof Dr Frank Deppe, Political scientist
  25. Prof Dr Frieder Otto Wolf, Freie Universität of Berlin
  26. Friedrich Roeingh, Journalist
  27. Friedrich Vetter, Retired pastor
  28. Gabi Zimmer, Former Member of the European Parliament, Die LINKE
  29. Gerd Schumann, Author
  30. Gerhard Baisch, Lawyer
  31. Prof. a.D. Dr Gerhard Trabert, Association Poverty and Health in Germany e.V.
  32. Dr med. Gisela Penteker, Member of the medical peace organisation IPPNW
  33. Gökay Akbulut, Member of the Bundestag, Die Linke 
  34. Prof Dr Gregor Büchel, Cologne University of Applied Sciences
  35. Dr Gregor Gysi, Member of the Bundestag, Die Linke 
  36. Gudrun Weckmann-Lautsch, Lawyer
  37. Harald Klinke, Lawyer
  38. Hartmut Plötz, Economist
  39. Dr Helmuth Markov, Former Member of Parliament/ State Minister
  40. Holdger Platta, Humanist Union
  41. Isaac Gonzales, Chairman of Wir sind da e.V.
  42. Joachim Schaller, Lawyer 
  43. Johannes Patett, Lawyer
  44. Jörq Heuer, Cultural worker, activist
  45. Dr Judith Dellheim, Economist 
  46. Jutta Kausch-Henken, Spokesperson for the groups of Peace Coordination Berlin
  47. Prof Dr Karin Kulow, Middle East scholar and conflict researcher
  48. Kerem Schamberger, Communication scientist and author 
  49. Konstantin Wecker, Singer-songwriter, author and composer
  50. Laura Freiin von Wimmerserg, Moderator of the Berlin Peace Coordination Centre
  51. Prof Dr Lothar Zechlin, University of Duisburg-Essen       
  52. Dr Lukas Theune, Lawyer, managing director of the Republikanischer Anwältinnen- und Anwälteverein e.V. (RAV)
  53. Marion Böker, Director/Founder, Counselling for Human Rights & Gender Issues
  54. Marit Vahjen, Member of the IPPNW Human Rights Group Turkey  
  55. Markus Lautenschlager, Pastor
  56. Matthias Jochheim, Member of the Medical Peace Organisation IPPNW
  57. Prof Dr Michael Brie, Philosopher and social scientist
  58. Michael Bouteiller, Former Mayor of Lübeck
  59. Dr Michael Wilk, Emergency physician, psychotherapist 
  60. Milan Martín, Lawyer
  61. Miriam Frieding, Lawyer
  62. Prof Dr Mohssen Massarrat, Political scientist and peace researcher
  63. Monty Schädel, Former political director of the German Peace Society - United Opponents of Military Service (DFG-VK)
  64. Dr Muriel Gonzalez Athenas, Historian, University of Innsbruck
  65. Dr Nikolaus Brauns, Historian and journalist
  66. Nina Treu, Political scientist and freelance author
  67. Prof. em. Dr Norman Paech, University of Hamburg
  68. Prof. Dr habil. Peter Herrman, Researcher at the Human Rights Centre, Faculty of Law, Central South University, Changsha, PR China
  69. Prof Peter Ott, Merz Academy Stuttgart
  70. Dr phil. Dr rer. med. Peter Ullrich, Senior Researcher, Technical University of Berlin
  71. Peter Vonnahme, Retired judge at the Bavarian Administrative Court
  72. Phil Butland, Senior Editor,
  73. Dr Philipp Zehmisch, University of Heidelberg
  74. Dr Rainer Werning, Ppolitical scientist & publicist
  75. Reinhard Hauff, Pastor
  76. Rita Belter, Lawyer
  77. Roland Meister, Lawyer
  78. Dr Rolf Gössner, Lawyer/publicist, member of the board of trustees of the International League for Human Rights
  79. Prof Dr Rudi Schmidt, University of Jena             
  80. Rudolf Bürgel, Executive Committee of the Left Party Baden-Württemberg
  81. Dr Stefan Meretz, Member of the Commons Institute
  82. Stephan Kuhn, Lawyer
  83. Susanne Ferschl, Member of the Left Party in the Bundestag
  84. Thomas Kilpper, Artist, Berlin and Professor Art University in Bergen
  85. Tim Engels, Lawyer
  86. Dr Torsten Bewernitz, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, ‘express’ editorial team 
  87. Prof Dr Udo Mayer, University of Hamburg
  88. Prof. Dr Ulrich Gottstein, Honorary board member of the medical peace organisation IPPNW
  89. Ulrich Tilgner, Retired journalist and non-fiction author 
  90. Prof Dr em. Urs Marti-Brander, University of Zurich
  91. Ute Wellstein, Specialist in occupational medicine, member of the medical peace organisation IPPNW
  92. Uwe Friesel, author
  93. Prof Dr Werner Ruf, Political scientist and peace researcher
  94. Dr jur. Wolfgang Bittner, Author and publicist
  95. Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Wolfgang-Fritz Haug, Berlin Institute for Critical Theory
  96. Ute Wellstein, specialist in occupational medicine, member of the medical peace organization IPPNW
  97. Uwe Friesel, writer
  98. Prof. Dr. Werner Ruf, political scientist and peace researcher
  99. Dr. jur. Wolfgang Bittner, writer and publicist
  100.  Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang-Fritz Haug, Berlin Institute for Critical Theory