The UK-based Freedom for Öcalan Trade Union Campaign held an urgent press conference outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, to address the 28-month-long absolute incommunicado detention of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The campaign, which includes several trade unions with millions of members, expressed serious concerns about Öcalan’s health and safety, as no news has been received from him for over two years.
Sarah Glynn, writer and Permanent Vigil representative for Abdullah Öcalan, moderated the event and highlighted that Öcalan has spent the majority of his imprisonment since 1999 in absolute isolation. “Isolation is contrary to international human rights principles,” she said.
Simon Dubbins, International Director of the Unite the Union in the UK, called on the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to provide information, stating that there was no legal basis for the isolation. He emphasised that the conditions in which the prisoners in İmrali are held are unacceptable.
Michaela Arricale, a lawyer from the Research and Review Centre for Democracy (CRED), criticised the silence of the CPT, questioning its function and asking, “What happened to Abdullah Öcalan?”