The Executive Committee (KCK) of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Monday called on Kurdish people to organise continuous protests until the current imprisonment conditions of Abdullah Öcalan are clarified by relevant international bodies.
The PKK leadership’s statement came after the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), declined to give Öcalan’s lawyers a satisfactory answer on whether or not they had met the jailed PKK leader during their inspection of İmralı Prison in September.
Following their ad hoc inspection to the Turkish prison island from 20 to 29 September 2022, the CPT delegation had a face-to-face meeting with lawyers of the Asrın Law Firm. However, the lawyers in a statement last week said that CPT officials had not provided any information about the conditions of Öcalan and three other inmates that are also kept in İmralı.
The CPT delegation kept silent on whether they had a meeting with Öcalan during the inspection, despite repeated questions.
The PKK leadership in its statement accused the CPT of giving the impression that their delegation had met Öcalan, and went on to point out that this is the first time the CPT has misguided the public.
“This situation cannot and should not be seen ordinary and normal. The ever deepening and continuing isolation system in İmralı and the attitude of the CPT along with the fact that no information could be reached about leader Apo, now goes beyond being concerned about the health and the life of leader Apo and has reached a dangerous stage,” the statement read.
The PKK leadership called for continuous action protesting the CPT’s position on the matter and pushing for clarification on Öcalan’s condition.
“The CPT should immediately make a statement about the situation of leader Apo, leader Apo’s lawyers demand for visiting İmralı should be immediately met and the lawyers should meet with leader Apo. Until those two demands are met, the protests should continue and should escalate,” it said.
The PKK leader Öcalan has been serving a life sentence since 1999 and have been under strict isolation for years, rarely if ever allowed to communicate with the outside world.
Öcalan’s lawyers’ last contact with their client happened in August 2019, while the PKK leader was allowed a brief telephone conversation with his brother Mehmet Öcalan in March 2021.