Asrın Law Bureau, the lawyers of jailed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, said they suspect that during the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) visit to İmralı Island prison in September 2022, Öcalan did not participate in an interview with the delegation.
The lawyers have released a public statement regarding the conditions of absolute incommunicado detention in İmralı Prison on 29 November.
In the statement, Öcalan’s lawyers said that they held a face-to-face meeting with the CPT, following the CPT’s visit to Turkey between 20 and 29 September.
However, “CPT officials did not provide the slightest information about the conditions of our clients, nor did they answer any of our questions,” said the lawyers.
“During the meeting, which lasted approximately 45 minutes, the officials reminded us of the procedures that the CPT is bound by, informing us that they would prepare a report on their visit and submit it to Turkey, and that they could only share this report with the public with Turkey’s approval,” added the lawyers.
Asrın Law Bureau said it appears that Öcalan did not participate in the interview with the delegation, although this is not confirmed by the CPT.
“If these rumours turn out to be true this would leave the CPT’s visit all the more controversial,” said the lawyers adding that both the CPT’s recent actual visit and lawyers’ last meeting with the CPT have increased the concerns about Öcalan, rather than bringing any relief.
The lawyers noted that periodic briefings and requests to the CPT and legal actions in Turkey are ongoing.
The PKK leader and three fellow prisoners held on the island as sole prisoners, have been under strict isolation for years, rarely if ever allowed to communicate with the outside world.
European lawyers had called on Turkey to comply with international laws and to stop violating the rights of the imprisoned Kurdish leader.