Lawyer Acun: The infrastructure for Abdullah Ocalan's freedom has been created

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  • 12:14 29 February 2024
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AMED - Emphasizing that the ECHR's decision in 2014 formed the basis of PKK Leader Ocalan's physical freedom, lawyer Berdan Acun said: "The infrastructure of Mr. Ocalan's freedom has been formed in universal law."

There has been no news from PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan, Omer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş, who are held in Imralı Type F High Security Closed Prison, for 36 months. Legal organizations, bar associations and human rights defenders have applied to the Ministry of Justice many times to end this lawlessness in Imralı. However, no positive or negative response was given to these applications. Finally, 1,330 lawyers affiliated with 35 members applied to the Ministry on January 22 to go to Imralı.
One of these names, Lawyers for Freedom Association (OHD) Amed Branch Member Lawyer Berdan Acun, evaluated the ongoing absolute isolation in Imralı and the fact that the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), which came to Turkey, did not visit Imralı despite the applications and calls made.
Reminding that Imralı Prison, where PKK Leader Ocalan was brought to in 1999, was removed from the control of the Ministry of Justice and turned into a "special warfare" place completely under the General Staff, Acun said that thus, the comings and goings were subjected to a special practice and communication with the outside was carried out. He stated that a prison system was created where contact was cut off.
Stating that "absolute isolation" has been in effect in Imralı for years, Acun noted that many human rights defenders from Turkey, the Middle East and Europe are fighting against this situation in Imralı. Reminding that 300 lawyers from Europe and 700 lawyers from the Middle East demanded to meet with Abdullah Ocalan in 2022, Acun said: “Lastly, on January 22, 1,330 lawyers from 35 different bar associations in Turkey demanded to meet with Mr. Ocalan as soon as possible. We applied to the Ministry of Justice, but the ministry still has not responded to our application. And the isolation on Mr. Ocalan still continues."
Berdan Acun also stated that the isolation in Imralı is a reflection of the insistence on the policy of no solution to the Kurdish issue, which has continued since the establishment of the republic. Again, pointing out that the isolation is not limited to Imralı, but also seen in the prevention of the release of ill prisoners and the release of political prisoners blocked by the Administration and Observation Boards, Acun emphasized that it is necessary to show a holistic reaction and fight against the isolation.
Reminding that Abdullah Ocalan's influence on the solution of the Kurdish issue was seen in the 2013-2015 period, Acun said: “Being against isolation means being in favor of peace. For this reason, isolation must be abolished as soon as possible. The obstacles to Mr. Ocalan must be removed in order to establish peace for the people of the Middle East and Turkey."
Underlining that isolation is torture and ill-treatment in terms of both national and international law, Acun criticized the fact that the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), which came to Turkey, did not visit Imralı despite all the calls and applications.
Stating that they clearly see the ongoing state of lawlessness in Imralı in the non-implementation of the "right to hope" decision given by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding Abdullah Ocalan in 2014, Acun said: "The ECHR ruled against Mr. Ocalan in 2014. It decided that both the manner in which the isolation was implemented and the aggravated life imprisonment imposed for the prisoner were a violation of human rights and amounted to torture and ill-treatment. In this respect, Turkey needed to make a regulation in its domestic legislation. It should have determined the execution periods for aggravated prison sentences. However, no regulation has been made yet. After this decision in 2014, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe had to follow this decision. However, 9 years later, in 2022, after human rights organizations applied, Turkey was put under surveillance. It seems that there is a lack of European states in fulfilling their decisions regarding Turkey due to the political, military and commercial agreements between them. Therefore, interstate interests continue with a process that politicizes legal decisions. That's why the isolation still continues.”
Stating that the situation is similar for the CPT, Acun said that not going to Imralı despite the applications made means that the CPT "acted with purely political motives outside of its founding purpose". Acun also noted that the emerging situation created a basis to question the legitimacy of the CPT.
Emphasizing that Abdullah Ocalan cannot be held in prison neither legally nor humanely, with the decision of the ECHR in 2014, Acun said: “Because in universal law, the execution of aggravated life imprisonment is foreseen as 25 and 30 years at most. The infrastructure of Mr. Ocalan's freedom in universal law has been created. If such a regulation is made in domestic law, the problem will be solved. However, the political power does not take any steps when it comes to Mr. Ocalan and the rights of the Kurds. Since the ECHR decision has created the infrastructure for Mr. Ocalan's freedom, human rights organizations, bar associations and human rights defenders have a responsibility. This issue is a legal issue, let alone a political one. The conditions of imprisonment of Mr. Ocalan, whose execution has been ongoing for 25 years, have now been legally eliminated."
Stating that the conflict process in Turkey and Kurdistan has caused the people nothing but crisis, Acun said: “The society longs for peace. Mr. Ocalan must play his role in peace. The society believes that the path to peace can be achieved by opening the Imralı gates and by Mr. Ocalan using his role and mission and this will be achieved by the freedom of Mr. Ocalan."
MA / Mehmet Guleş

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