Lawyers from Asrın Law Office have contacted the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) with an urgent appeal.
Mesopotamia Agency reported that they have applied to the CPT to request it to use its capabilities to arrange for an urgent visit to see jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, in light of serious concerns that have been raised over his health and wellbeing.
Asrın Law Office represents the jailed PKK leader. Lawyers from Asrın Law Office expressed their concerns over Öcalan’s health condition after rumours were circulated on social media on 14 March suggesting that he had died in prison. The lawyers noted that the last time they had been allowed to visit Öcalan on İmralı Island was in August 2019 and that their applications to visit him ever since have remained unanswered by the Justice Ministry.
Asrın Law Office made an application to the CPT yesterday, highlighting these concerns and issues. Their application to the CPT clarified that their urgent request to both the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Justice to visit Öcalan urgently in light of these concerns had “not been accepted”.
Öcalan’s family and lawyers have serious concerns about his wellbeing
Stating that they had not received any information about Öcalan since the phone call that was made with him on 27 April 2020, Öcalan’s lawyers noted the following concerns: ”Both the fact that there are life threatening pandemic conditions and there have been serious claims made about his death, his family and his lawyers have serious concerns about his wellbeing”.
They observed that the statement made by the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office that Öcalan was in ”good health” was actually ”aimed at preventing questions about his condition and isolation conditions, rather than eliminating such concerns”.
Lawyers: The family of Öcalan and his lawyers must be allowed to visit Mr. Öcalan
The Asrın Law Office lawyers stated that they had already informed the CPT about Öcalan’s current isolation conditions. However, they stated: “What really needs to be questioned are the conditions of isolation that lead to such concerns, and provide a basis for such news. The Imrali Prison is an extraordinary regime. The fact that all ties with the outside world have been blocked is also inhuman and it is a torture practice. In this respect, our current concerns will not be resolved without direct observation of Öcalan’s health status. It is not possible to consider reported news or allegations as ordinary news (we can rely on) in any respect”.
“However, in order to resolve the concerns regarding the recent serious information that has been reported, the family of Öcalan and his lawyers must be allowed to visit Mr. Öcalan. We invite you to urgently act with a duty to ensure that Öcalan and our other clients are in a healthy and safe condition”, the lawyers noted.