A four-day sit-in protest led by the European Democratic Kurdish Society Congress (KCDK-E) was held in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, demanding an end to the isolation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader in Turkey’s Imrali Prison, and has been going on for more than 18 months.
On behalf of the activists, a delegation of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MPs met with the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) on Wednesday, 12 October 2022.
HDP Council of Europe representative Faik Yağızay told Medya Haber that the CPT representatives who visited Imralı Prison did not give any information about the delegation’s visit except that the CPT delegation had one-on-one meetings with all four prisoners in Imrali F Type High-Security Prison.
📌HDP'den bir heyet, İmralı'yı ziyaret eden CPT ile görüştü. Görüşmeye ilişkin Medya Haber'e bilgi veren HDP Avrupa Konseyi temsilcisi Faik Yağızay, Kürt Halk Önderi Abdullah Öcalan ile görüşen CPT temsilcilerinin görüşmeye dair bilgi vermediğini aktardı. #MedyaHabertvv pic.twitter.com/PGZVLEQMND
— Medya Haber TV (@medyahabertvv) October 12, 2022
Öcalan has been held under severe isolation in Imrali prison and has not been allowed to meet or contact his family or lawyers since April 2020 due to disciplinary penalties and prohibitions on visits.
Abdullah Öcalan’s lawyers had recently requested an urgent CPT visit to the PKK leader and other prisoners in the Imrali Prison Complex in September.
On 3 October, the CPT announced that a delegation had visited Imrali Prison between 20-29 September. However, any information about the details of the visit was not shared.
At the beginning of the weekly four day sit-in that started on Monday, a call was made to the Council of Europe to carry out its duty.
Representatives of several institutions and organisations, as well as politicians and artists attended the event. Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council also supported the protest.
Kurdish politician Hatip Dicle condemned the 10 October Ankara massacre and the murder of Nagihan Akarsel, a member of the Jineology Academy in Sulaymaniyah on 4 October, and said that the European Parliament has a significant duty to stop Turkey’s human rights violations.
Politician Ertuğrul Kürkçü said, “We defend living together as a motto and will not stop fighting. Öcalan is the pioneer of the idea of common life. That’s why he’s being kept in isolation,” he said.
It has also been revealed that Öcalan and other prisoners have been given a disciplinary penalty for the 12th time since 2018 on 5 October.
The three-month disciplinary penalty was finalised on 28 September, when the CPT delegation visited Imrali Prison.