The lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), read out a statement at the Press Club in Geneva, Switzerland.
The lawyers once again called upon the Council of Europe’s (CoE) Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and the relevant commissions of the United Nations to urgently visit the İmralı island prison to inspect the conditions of Öcalan and other political prsioners, who have been subjected to severe isolation through continuous bans on lawyer and family visit for years now.
The lawyers had appealed to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Reporter of the sub-Committee of Torture and Urgent Action Unit earlier, lawyer Rezan Sarıca said, adding that these authorities should inspect Abdullah Öcalan’s condition and share the results with the public.
The CPT and the OHCHR should urgently contact Turkish government officials and take action to ensure compliance with national and international laws regarding near-absolute isolation conditions Öcalan has been held in for years, the lawyer stated.
Last contact with Öcalan happened in March 2021, when he spoke with his brother Mehmet Öcalan on the phone very briefly. The conversation was cut off abruptly after only a few minutes. His lawyers last received information about him in August 2019. After this time, communication bans of six months at a time prevented any family member or representative from reaching the imprisoned PKK founder. Most recently, the visitation ban was extended for another six months in May.
The Öcalan family had their appeal to visit him rejected on 29 March, marking the 10th time since 2018.