Abdullah Öcalan, the founder of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), who remains imprisoned under isolation conditions in İmralı High Security F-Type Closed Prison in Turkey, has been banned from making calls for six months. Other prisoners held in the same prison – Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş – have also had these prison rights banned.
According to Mesopotamia Agency (MA), the prison administration made the decision on 7 September. In addition to this, Öcalan was also banned from meeting his lawyers for six months on 23 September. Turkish authorities have blocked Öcalan’s lawyers from visiting him at Imrali Prison numerous times since 27 July 2011. Öcalan has been imprisoned at İmralı for 22 years.
Even though the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has published a report on the conditions of Öcalan at İmralı, describing them as “unacceptable”, he has continued to be subjected to these conditions. In August this year, the CPT published a report stating that there had been no improvements to the harsh conditions faced by prisoners at İmralı.
According to the CPT report, the four prisoners were still only allowed to meet as a group for six hours per week, and in pairs for another three hours per week, while ‘association’ during daily outdoor exercises remained prohibited. “In the committee’s view, such a state of affairs is not acceptable”, the CPT concluded.