Urgent application for Öcalan to UN

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İSTANBUL - Lawyers of Asrın Law Office called for "urgent action" by referring the ban on family and lawyer visits for PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, to the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
 
Lawyers of Asrın Law Office applied to the United Nations (UN) Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) to request  investigation on the ban for the family and attorney visits of PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has been held under heavy isolation conditions in İmralı Type F High Security Prison and has not been heard from for more than a year, and for Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş.
 
Regarding the violations of rights in the application, it has been noted that applications have been made periodically to the Constitutional Court, the Ministry of Justice, the Parliamentary Human Rights Investigation Commission, the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, the Directorate of Penal Execution Institution and the Execution Judge. Underlining that they have not received any positive results from their applications so far, the attorneys emphasized that their clients are detained within the scope of "incommunicado".
 
In the application, Article 7 of the International Covention on Civil and Political Rights (IASP) were mentioned, which states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This right is absolute, the prohibition of torture cannot be violated under any circumstances, including in a state of emergency or war' and Article 10 stipulates that' everyone deprived of their liberty has the right to humane treatment and respect for the inherent human dignity."
 
'DISCIPLINARY PUNISHEMENTS ARE PROHIBITED TORTURE'
 
Underlining that the case-law followed by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) does not and will not discriminate between inhumane or degrading treatment, the attorneys said: “Restrictions or disciplinary sanctions can not be at the level of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under no circumstances. Indefinite solitary confinement, extended solitary confinement, and collective punishment are torture practices that are specifically prohibited (United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, art. 43). Detention in solitary confinement refers to the detention of a prisoner for more than 22 hours or a day without meaningful human contact.”
 
“IT IS ABSOLUTELY AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS”
 
Lawyers of Asrın Law Office stated that their clients' contact with the outside world is completely prohibited and that the current situation of their clients should be evaluated as a kind of "incommunicado / detention" imprisonment. Stating that this situation is absolutely against international human rights documents and standards, the attorneys said: "The IHR has evaluated 'incommunicado' as inhumane in its decisions."
 
ECHR DETECTED VIOLATION IN IMRALI
 
In the application, the following decisions taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upon Öcalan's application on March 18, 2014 were mentioned: “Considering the lack of communication means to prevent social isolation (no television in his cell for a long time and no right to make a phone call), excessive restrictions on access to information, and the continuing existence of obstacles to accessing the penitentiary institution for visitors (family members and lawyers), the conditions of the Imrali Prison, were found that it constituted a violation of the prohibition of torture.”
 
POTENTIAL RISK
 
In the application, it was emphasized that they had not received any news from the prisoners in İmralı since March 25, 2021 and that their clients have remained in much more severe isolation conditions since the Imralı Prison decision given by the ECtHR, the attorneys said, "This situation contains all kinds of potential risks."
 
'WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT THE CONDITIONS'
 
Drawing attention to the following issues in the continuation of their applications, Lawyers of Asrın Law Office: “We do not have the slightest information about the conditions under which our clients are held. We do not know if they have acces to fresh air, the periods of meeting with each other, the possibilities of accessing printed, visual and audio publications. The fact that our clients are still held under these conditions and that they are not allowed to be visited by their lawyers and families violates the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment guaranteed in Article 7 of the UMSHS.
 
REQUEST FOR URGENT ACTION
 
The lawyers stated that their clients are being held in complete isolation from the outside world, no news has been heard from them for 13 months, they are deeply concerned about their health status, conditions of detention, in short, their material and spiritual assets and demanded that the isolation must be lifted immediately and UN should take urgent action.
 
 
MA / Ergin Caglar
 

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