After the worrying rumours of the health and security of the Kurdish leader, Abdullah Öcalan, on social media, the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office published a statement on 16 March regarding the situation of the imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader, stating that he is in “good health.”
Öcalan’s brother Mehmet Öcalan who visits his brother on behalf of the family whenever it is not banned and able to, responded to the Prosecutor’s statement and said “If he is in good health, then let the family and the lawyers meet with him to confirm,” in an interview by Mesopotamia Agency.
‘We have not heard from him for 11 months’
“The last time I could meet with him face to face was on 3 March 2020, and after that, we made one phone call on 27 April. My brother shared important evaluations regarding the solution to the Kurdish question in both conversations we made. However, we do not know what the situation in Imralı Island is since then and we have not been informed about him,” Mehmet Öcalan said
Mehmet Öcalan pointed out that the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT ) has visited a number of prisons in Turkey during their last visit to the country, but that they did not visit İmralı Island.
“This is a huge contradiction. Why doesn’t the CPT visit Imralı?” he asked. “The CPT claims to be the biggest institution against torture but does not visit the island. Why does the CPT not act regarding these claims and visit Imralı island now?”
‘The doors of İmralı should be opened’
“The rumours on social media should questioned and investigated. The Turkish state knows the situation on Imralı, but they do not comply with their duties and share adequate and appropriate information neither with us nor with the lawyers,“ Mehmet Öcalan said.
There are four other people in Imralı Prison other than Abdullah Öcalan, he reminded. “Their families and society has the right to know their conditions. The doors of İmralı should be opened following the recent claims that gave us all serious concerns,” he stated.
‘Speaking on the phone is not enough’
Mehmet Öcalan also stated that urgent face-to-face meetings should be held between Abdullah Öcalan, his lawyers and family members.
“Each and every statement issued by the Minister of Justice remains only rhetorical. The ministry is responsible for what happened. All detainees have rights defined by the law, but the leader’s (refering to his brother Abdullah Öcalan) rights are not recognized,” Mehmet Öcalan noted.
He also called on all human rights defenders to take action all around the world against the isolation.
“They want to poison the beauty of Newroz (refering to the upcoming 21 March celebrations, which symbolises the arrival of spring and also the resistance of Kurds for freedom).We urge everyone, who calls themselves a democrat, there is a very big mistake here. Our people who say, ‘Our leader is our will” should raise their voices,” he said.