İbrahim Bilmez, one of the lawyers of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, has made a statement on the ongoing debate regarding Öcalan’s isolation. Bilmez drew attention to the fact that ending the isolation was the only solution to the political and economic crisis facing Turkey.
Öcalan has been imprisoned under heavy isolation in the İmralı F-type High Security Prison in Turkey for 21 years. Over the last five years the isolation has grown more severe and his own lawyers have often struggled to make contact with him.
Bilmez said he had not received any information about his client since a phone call on 27 April. Bilmez said, “The thing I try to say is that there is something different in İmralı. By saying the law does not apply there, we mean it is used as a laboratory, not as a prison. All restrictive provisions and implementations are first tested in İmralı. Afterwards, they gradually spread throughout Turkey”.
He also said that prior bans imposed on Öcalan indicated a judicial cover for the current restrictions. “But we know that the removal of absolute isolation in İmralı or the end of aggravated life imprisonment, which the ECHR confirmed was torture, as well as Öcalan’s freedom will be achieved politically and not through judicial processes”.