International Initiative: Open the Gates of Imralı now!

International Initiative: Open the Gates of Imralı now!

  • Date: March 16, 2021
  • Categories:Rights
Διεθνής πρωτοβουλία για τον Οτσαλάν - Ανοίξτε τις φυλακές του Ιμραλί τώρα!

International Initiative: Open the Gates of Imralı now!

Η Διεθνής Πρωτοβουλία «Ελευθερία για τον Οτσαλάν-Ειρήνη στο Κουρδιστάν» καλεί τα διεθνή ιδρύματα, τις χώρες και τους πολίτες να δράσουν αμέσως για να ανοίξει η φυλακή του Άπο.

The International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan—Peace in Kurdistan” has issued a statement regarding the rumors that began circulate about Abdullah Öcalan’s health.

The statement reads as follows: "Mr. Öcalan’s legal team, the Asrın Law Office, published a statement addressing rumors that began to circulate widely about Abdullah Öcalan’s well-being. We share the concerns of the lawyers, as well as their reasonable and just demand for immediate access to Abdullah Öcalan and their three other clients at the İmralı Island Prison.

The lawyers have been blocked from consulting with Abdullah Öcalan since 7 August 2019, and, since 1999, Öcalan has only had one telephone conversation with a family member, on 27 April 2020. Since then, the lawyers have not been able to communicate in any way with their clients, although it is their clients’ constitutional and legal right to consult with their lawyers. In reality, Abdullah Öcalan, Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım, and Veysi Aktaş have, in fact, been totally isolated for much longer; their isolation was only broken by a hunger strike led by Leyla Güven, who was then in prison and has since been re-imprisoned, with others prisoners and people around the world joining in. There is now another ongoing hunger strike that began more than one hundred days ago.

The vengeful Turkish state policies against Öcalan and his fellow prisoners make it possible that any rumor is true; it is impossible to verify or discount any claim made about his well-being. This means that any intentional harm done to him will also go unnoticed.

The silence of the international organizations and institutions is resounding. The Council of Europe appears incapable of following up on recommendations made by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). The Committee of Ministers is failing to enforce the execution of the European Court of Human Rights judgments, and the UN just watches as Turkey tramples all over international agreements and conventions repeatedly.

We are not demanding that the prisoners on İmralı Island receive special treatment; on the contrary, we are demanding that their special treatment ends.

We have called attention to these issues on numerous occasions. The isolation system in the İmralı Island prison is clearly outside of the boundaries of domestic and international law, and in violation of human rights agreements and conventions. The whole İmralı prison complex must be disbanded. All those involved in maintaining the complete isolation at the İmralı Island Prison are acting illegally and are engaging in an ongoing human rights violation.

The only way to end the speculation around the well-being of those imprisoned, and preclude any possibility of these rumors becoming a reality is to make İmralı Island Prison transparent. We demand the immediate end to total isolation. Open the gates of İmralı Island Prison now!

We once again call on everybody to: put pressure on the international institutions that Turkey is party to, namely the Council of Europe and the United Nations, as well as all other political and human rights bodies; put pressure on your local representatives to demand an end to isolation; help achieve our goals: “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan—Peace in Kurdistan” now.