🔴 #Kurdish activists demand that European bodies step up so #Ocalan can meet with his lawyers, at protests in front of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (#CPT) in #Strasbourg.https://t.co/EuqineA0H1 pic.twitter.com/zhigWggvPc
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) December 9, 2022
Kurdish activists in Europe demand that European bodies step up so Abdullah Öcalan can meet with his lawyers, ANF reported.
On the third day of a protest in front of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) in Strasbourg, activists said CPT should clarify whether it met with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) founding leader during its September visit to the İmralı Island Prison, where Öcalan has been serving a life sentence since 1999.
CPT announced that a delegation visited Turkey between 20 and 29 September, “to examine the treatment and conditions of detention of foreign nationals detained under aliens legislation”.
The anti-torture body also said the delegation visited İmralı “in order to examine the treatment and conditions of detention of all (four) prisoners currently held in the establishment” and paid particular attention to communal activities Öcalan and three other inmates were offered, “and their contacts with the outside world”.
Öcalan has been held in absolute isolation for the majority of his decades in İmralı, with regular visits being possible only during a peace process between Turkey and the PKK between 2013 and 2015.
There has been “no sign of life” from Öcalan since March 2021, European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E) Co-chair Fatoş Göksungur said at the demonstration.
The last time Öcalan was heard from was when he held an interrupted phone call with his brother in 2021. Before that, Öcalan was able to speak with his lawyers in 2019.
“We want to know here and now whether the CPT met with Öcalan or not. They must make a statement on the matter immediately,” Göksungur said.
Ögmundur Jónasson, spokesman for the international committee for İmralı and former justice minister of Iceland,
“I want to join my voice with yours in demanding the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan,” Jónasson said. “The freedom of Abdullah Öcalan is a precondition for meaningful negotiation for peace in these areas.”
“I also take this microphone in symbolic solidarity with the victims of the attacks of the Turkish military in Rojava and southern Kurdistan,” Jónasson said. “In this part of the world there are all too many blind eyes. People don’t want to know about these atrocities.”
Kongra Gel Co-chair Remzi Kartal said the CPT’s statement “gave an impression” that there has been a visit with Öcalan. “The CPT knows how delicate the matter is. They should make a statement on Öcalan’s life immediately,” he said.
Turkish laws and international treaties grant Öcalan the right to meet with his family and lawyers regularly, and the ongoing ban is in violation of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules).