Arsın Law Bureau’s application to the United Nations Human Rights Committee against the absolute isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and three other detainees -Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım, and Veysel Aktaş- on İmralı Island is an ongoing process. Öcalan’s lawyers are currently in the midst of preparing a response to the Turkish government’s submission to the United Nations (UN).
Asrın Law Bureau brought the issue of the absolute isolation imposed on PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and three other prisoners held in İmralı to the attention of the United Nations in 2022.
The United Nations initially requested measures from Turkey on this issue and subsequently issued a reminder to Turkey regarding the same request. However, Turkey did not comply with either of these requests from the UN. Turkey did not adhere to these precautionary decisions and put forth arguments to disregard these measures in its response to the UN. Öcalan’s lawyers are currently preparing a response to Turkey’s rebuttal.
İbrahim Bilmez from Asrın Law Bureau told ANF that they had recently submitted this response and indicated that the UN would subsequently make a decision on the matter. Stating that they had continuously raised the issue of the Imrali isolation within European Council bodies, İbrahim Bilmez said, “Unfortunately, we were unable to achieve the desired outcome.” Bilmez pointed out that they first applied to the United Nations Human Rights Committee with a request for measures against the Imrali isolation on July 29, 2022. Lawyer Bilmez explained that the UN Human Rights Committee made a decision regarding the request for an injunction on September 6, 2022. The UN court requested that Ocalan be granted immediate and unrestricted access to his lawyers because no communication had been received from Imralı by Turkey. After Turkey failed to comply with this UN request, the lawyers informed the UN once more. Subsequently, the UN committee issued another reminder to the Turkish government regarding the precautionary decision and requested that the lawyers be allowed to visit Imrali without hindrance. İbrahim Bilmez emphasised that despite the UN’s second reminder, Turkey still did not adhere to the precautionary decision.
İbrahim Bilmez said that Turkey had previously submitted a presentation to the UN regarding their applications and that as Öcalan’s lawyers, they would soon present their own responses to the committee. He pointed out that the Turkish government did not address either the lawyers’ request for an injunction or the decision of the UN committee in their presentation.