A new international campaign has been launched by human rights defenders based in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES, also known as Rojava) to protest against the prison isolation conditions that have been imposed on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in Turkey. Öcalan has been jailed in an island prison in Turkey since his arrest on 15 February 1999.
North and East Syria Committee for Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan launched an e-mail campaign on 27 March inviting human rights defenders around the world to send e-mails to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) demanding that the prison isolation conditions imposed on Abdullah Öcalan be ended.
More than 25,000 e-mails have reportedly already been sent to the CPT within the scope of this campaign.
“Since 27 April 2020, no news has been heard from Abdullah Öcalan. After the claims regarding his health spread on social media on 14 March, the concerns about Abdullah Öcalan were increased, but the Turkish state has taken no serious steps for a healthy communication with leader Öcalan to be undertaken”, stated the North and East Syria Committee for Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan in a new campaign message.
The Committee pointed out the role of the CPT in being able to positively intervene in a number of ways. It noted: “The CPT has a great responsibility on this issue. We call upon the CPT to do its duty. The CPT should send a delegation to Imralı Prison along with Öcalan’s lawyers and family members”.
The campaign organisers continue to appeal to international communities, individuals and organisations for solidarity in their e-mail campaign to the CPT.