Asrın Law Office applied to the Committee for Prevention of Torture regarding the continued, aggravated isolation being imposed on the peoples’ leader Abdullah Ocalan in İmralı. The lawyers also called for the announcement of the results of CPT’s latest visit to İmralı in 2019.
In the application, it was also stated that none of the 12 interviews, 4 of which were open and 8 of which were closed, were carried out namely because Veysi Aktaş is being convicted of life imprisonment. Again, in line with the legal provision, it was stated that the applications of the guardians were rejected by the same prosecutor, despite the fact that the law determines that “even with a disciplinary penalty our client Mr Öcalan will not be prevented from meeting with his guardian.”
The statement continued, “Mr Hamili Yıldırım, Ömer Hayri Konar and Veysi Aktaş have not been able to hold a single lawyer meeting for 4 years and 9 months since their transfer to İmralı Island Prison.”
Emphasizing that disciplinary penalties have been given to prisoners in İmralı 5 times in 3-month blocks since September 2018, it was pointed out that these penalties are arbitrary decisions that are incompatible with material reality. It was pointed out that disciplinary punishments were not communicated to them, and in this way, it was pointed out that both applicants and their deputies were prevented from exercising national and international applications, objections and other rights.
In this application, which emphasized that the relevant decisions are aimed to be finalized without the use of objection rights, it was stated “This is an application that violates the right to access to the court, guaranteed in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. These disciplinary decisions and administrative processes are decisions and practices that prevent the use of national and international ordinary and extraordinary remedies, and which lack legal and constitutional basis. The disciplinary penalties in question have turned into an application that also eliminates the right of the Applicants to respect their family and private life regulated in Article 8 of the Convention.”
‘Torture Prohibition is being Violated’
In the continuation of the document, it was established that Leader Öcalan and three other applicants were completely disconnected from the outside world. The following was pointed out: “Our clients are exempted from the most basic rights; Access to health, defence and communication rights have all been denied. Sharing legal thoughts and opinions is prevented even in letters sent about legal applications and transactions.”
“It is the practice of torture which ensures that the applicants are detached from their families, lawyers, society and life realities. The issue of what is happening in psychological, social, and physical conditions, against the prohibition of torture is clearly evident. The arbitrary judicial bans, the actual arbitrary administrative bans, and the scope, duration, physical and spiritual implications of unlawful practice and treatment are indispensable. The right to protect and develop their material and moral assets is not fulfilled … Although there is a responsibility to carry out a regime suitable for specific conditions such as their age, health status and location, contrary conditions make systematic torture dimensions permanent.”
Citing CPT reports
In the application, which emphasized the recommendations in the reports published by the CPT as a result of the reviews in Imrali, it was mentioned that the relevant recommendations were not followed in the last three months. In the application, which noted that there were no changes in the practices regarding discrimination detected during the Committee’s visit in 2016, it was said that “blocking Mr Öcalan’s access to the phone has been continuing since 1999 despite the specific advice made by your committee over and over again”.
In the last part of the application, requests were made in the form of providing interventions for meetings of applicants with lawyers and family, and taking an effective monitoring process in order to eliminate the violations of rights.
Again, the CPT’s previous visit to İmralı was recalled, “Your committee is requested to announce, within a reasonable period of time, the findings and recommendations reached on the visit to the Imrali Island Prison on May 6-17, 2019, to be effective and ensure absolute compliance with the torture prohibition.”