The Asrın Law Bureau has issued a written statement after the claim that imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan had died was shared on social media.
The statement addressed the lack of communication between the lawyers and their clients. “We cannot communicate in any way with our clients Mr Abdullah Öcalan, who is imprisoned in İmralı Prison, Mr Ömer Hayri Konar, Mr Hamili Yıldırım and Mr Veysi Aktaş. As the last lawyer meeting was carried out on 7 August 2019, with Mr Öcalan only, our clients’ last communication with the outside was their right to a phone call, which was permitted on 27 April 2020 due to the pandemic.
“Some claims were made on social media by anonymous accounts on 14.03.2021 regarding the life of Mr Öcalan, our client, with whom we have been unable to communicate.
“We examine seriously every claim raised about our clients in İmralı, who we have not been allowed to meet, and we make necessary attempts to find the truth. We do not know from where these claims originated, but the important fact for us is that those sorts of claims are raised periodically about Mr Öcalan”.
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— Asrın Hukuk Bürosu (@asrinhukuku) March 15, 2021
The statement pointed to the isolation conditions as a reason for these claims. It was also noted in the statement that communication opportunities should be ensured to end concerns over the safety of prisoners. The bureau reiterated their demand for the end of isolation and mistreatment in İmralı Prison, and called on the prison administration and prison officials to end discriminatory practices.