The International Delegation Against Isolation, which includes politicians, academics and journalists from around the world, will share its report based on the meetings they held in Turkey in January with an online press release on 27 March.
The delegation met with different political parties, bar associations and non-governmental organisations in Turkey’s Ankara, Istanbul and Diyarbakır (Amed) between 24-29 January to conduct research and evaluate the detention conditions in the isolated prison in the northwestern İmralı Island, where Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan has been serving a life sentence for 24 years.
The group emphasised the absolute isolation imposed on Öcalan while announcing that they had completed their report on their Turkey visit and that they would soon make the report available to the public.
Drawing attention to the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture’s (CPT) 2020 report, which examined the conditions of İmralı and concluded that Öcalan’s detention conditions were inhumane, the international delegation also stated that it will share its report with a public online press release via Zoom at 11:00 pm CET on Monday.
Öcalan, who has been held in İmralı Island Prison since his arrest in February 1999, was never able to have full use of his rights to communication as an inmate. The PKK leader was on occasion able to relay messages to the outside world via his lawyers. However, he was last able to communicate with his lawyers in 2019, and 25 March marks the second year since his final contact with the outside world in the form of an interrupted phone call with his brother in 2021.
MedyaNews organised an online panel discussion on 20 March entitled ‘Öcalan, political prisoners, and legal reform in Turkey’, occasioned by the international delegation of around 40 European lawyers, plus MPs and political party representatives. Listen to the full panel online here.