Kurdish groups and individuals and their supporters in Europe have launched a three-day protest outside the Council of Europe Parliament building in Strasbourg to demand an end to the severe isolation conditions imposed on Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in Turkey’s İmralı Prison.
The protestors called on the Council of Europe and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to “look to your duty”.
People gathered outside the Council of Europe Parliament building on Monday in response to a call from the European Kurdish Democratic Societies Congress (KCDK-E). In a press release, the protestors said: “European institutions should play their part in eliminating the incommunicado status of the prisoners at İmralı Prison.”
The protestors also called on the CPT to make a statement on its visit to İmralı. The CPT announced that a delegation had visited Turkey in September and had visited İmralı prison while it was there. However, it did not provide detailed information about the visit, and has not revealed whether or not the delegation met with Öcalan.
Emphasising in the press release that no communication has been established with Öcalan for 22 months, the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) co-Chair Ahmed Karamus said, “This is torture. Absolute isolation is against both Turkish and international law.”
The protestors pointed out that any isolation imposed on Öcalan is also a violation against the Kurdish people, and demanded that European institutions apply pressure and impose sanctions on Turkey to bring an end to the situation, recalling that Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe.