A “Rights and Freedoms in Turkey: Law, Prisons & the Kurdish Question” conference was held at the European Parliament on Monday.
The conference, organised in collaboration with the European Lawyers’ Association for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) and the International Association for Law and Democracy (MAF-DAD), addressed escalating concerns regarding human rights and freedoms in Turkey.
The event brought together notable politicians and legal experts who delved into pressing issues such as the conditions in Turkey’s prisons, and the impact of the judiciary on the country’s political landscape.
Panels specifically focused on the isolation imposed on prisoners in İmralı, where the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan has been held for 24 years, and under total incommunicado since 2021.
Medya Haber TV’s Erem Kansoy spoke with a member of the Executive Board of the European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) from Catalonia, Prof Louis Lemkow, lawyer Bill Bowring, and MAF-DAD Chairwoman Hilke Geisweid.
Turkey’s legal process is influenced by political agendas, Lemkow said, adding that the conference played an important role in demonstrating this.
Meanwhile, Geisweid described the conference as a dramatic exposé of both the human rights violations and corrupt legal processes in Turkey. “It is absolutely imperative that Europe puts pressure on Turkey to improve the situation of political prisoners in Turkey and to remedy the unlawful situation,” the chairwoman said.
Bowring stressed that isolation is a form of torture and called on the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to improve the situation in İmralı Island Prison and end the practice of isolation.