Asrın Law Office revealed the findings of its 2023 report on Turkey’s İmralı Prison with a press conference on Wednesday. The report, disclosed by lawyer Raziye Öztürk, emphasises unprecedented communication restrictions imposed on prisoners, including Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan.
The document, presented in Istanbul, detailed the denial of a total of 169 requests for meetings, including lawyer and family visits. It underscored 2023 as a year of “absolute non-communication”, noting no contact with the inmates, or news of their condition, for the last three years.
The report also focused on the aftermath of the major 6 February earthquakes, highlighting the legal necessity to follow communication procedures in emergencies. No contact was permitted with the inmates, despite the critical situation. The lawyers described the policy imposed on the prisoners as “incommunicado detention”, a clear violation of human rights and legal norms, including torture and denial of a fair trial.
Asrın Law Office’s analysis extended to the international legal perspective. It argued that the conditions in İmralı conflict with international treaties and conventions to which Turkey is a signatory. The report advocates for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, emphasising his role in resolving the Kurdish issue and the need for a democratic solution.
The law office concluded by proposing 2024 as a pivotal year for Öcalan’s freedom and the resolution of the Kurdish issue. It called for urgent legal and democratic reforms in Turkey, aligning with international human rights standards.