Lawyers and politicians called for an end to the isolation imposed upon jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan on Sunday, three years after the Turkish government last permitted his allies to visit him.
Öcalan has been deprived of his rights as defined in domestic and international laws for the past three years, said Asrin Law Office in its latest statement.
The Kurdish leader’s lawyers have described how their official applications to visit him were systematically denied on a weekly basis between 2011 and 2019.
Visits were allowed again for a brief period starting in May 2019, but it was not long before the authorities tightened the restrictions around Öcalan once again.
Applications “made after the last interview on 7 August 2019 began to be rejected again,” Asrin’s statement said, adding that no lawyers had been allowed to visit in the three years since.
“In a country whose constitution states that there is a ‘state of law’, can there be a prison like the İmralı prison, where no civilians can step foot? Can a black hole like the İmralı isolation system be considered normal in the legal system?” the statement continued.
The Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) added their own statement, calling for support under the hashtag “#TecritİşkencesineSon” on Twitter, meaning “end the isolation torture.”
Since Aug. 7, 2019 there has been no word from Öcalan, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Saliha Aydeniz told JinNews.
“The main reason for this is that the government is not in favour of a solution, [to the Kurdish issue] but instead of solving the problem, it seeks to perpetuate its rule through polarisation, marginalisation and fascism,” Aydeniz said.
Öcalan has been held under solitary confinement for 23 years in the purpose built prison on İmralı Island in the south Marmara Sea.