Asrin Law Office publishes ‘Imrali Prison’ report for 2020

The Asrin Law Office advocating Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan has published its 2020 Imralı Prison Assessment Report.

The 31-point report contains details regarding the isolation system executed in the Imrali Island Prison where Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan is held alongside three other prisoners; Ömer Hayri Konar, Hamili Yıldırım and Veysi Aktaş.

The report highlights that the Turkish state tramples on international law as well, saying; “To overcome this system in real terms can only be possible by ensuring the legal equality and freedom of Mr. Öcalan and the Kurdish people intertwined with him, like all other individuals and peoples.”

Asrin Law Office called on all sensitive circles to contribute to the democratic struggle for law and justice.

The first 5 articles of the report include the following:

1- The year 2020 was marked by an elimination of law for the clients in Imralı F Type High Security Closed Prison; Mr. Abdullah Öcalan, Mr. Hamili Yıldırım, Mr. Veysi Aktaş and Mr. Ömer Hayri Konar, who were mainly deprived of their right to meeting with lawyers and family members, right to phone, letter, fax and all kinds of communications. This situation constitutes an “Absolute Isolation” which means systematic torture beyond a violation of right(s). The Imrali Island Prison, where the “Torture Ban” is violated most intensely and deeply despite the pandemic circumstances put into effect with Covid-19/Coronavirus, is being turned into a sphere where doubts over the protection of the clients’ material and spiritual integrity is preserved are growing every passing day.

2- As is known, Mr. Öcalan had the opportunity to meet with his lawyers and family in Imrali Prison in 2019, although for a limited period of time. His opinions and evaluations were declared to the public afterwards. The popular pressure reaching the level of hunger strikes eventually conduced to breaking through the Imrali isolation to a limited extent. During this process, the related court decision that was cited as basis for the denial of Öcalan’s meeting with his family and lawyers, was halted upon judicial objection, and the Minister of Justice himself declared that there was no obstacle to lawyer and family meetings on Imrali. In addition, the CPT visit to the Imrali Prison, detailed in a report published in 2010, also took place during this period.

3- During these 5 meetings with lawyers and 3 meetings with family members in 2019, Mr. Öcalan once again presented his power and influence with regard to the democratization of the Middle East, especially the resolution of the Kurdish question. This situation enabled the growth of hope and the mentality which Mr. Öcalan defines as “Politics to Keep Alive” among all circles of the society who have been subjected to repeated disasters during the past five years. However, since the lawyer meeting on 7 August 2018 and the family meeting on 11 August 2019, there has been no chance of communication with Imrali.

4- On 15 February 2020, human rights organizations and legal organizations, together with politicians, called upon the officials to undertake responsibility in order to highlight the dimensions of the Imrali isolation system and to make sure that the devastation experienced in 2019 is not repeated. Likewise, over three thousand people went on hunger strike in various places around the world in 2019 to protest against the Imrali isolation system and the action was turned into death fast afterwards. 9 people put an end to their lives in the scope of the same protest. However, there has been no favorable development in 2020 when, furthermore, hunger strikes have been launched in prisons and Mrs. Leyla Güven was jailed once again.

5- The International Delegation for Imrali applied to the Ministry of Justice in 2020, as in the past years, to be granted permission to meet with Mr. Öcalan on Imrali Island. The delegation also visited Asrin Law Office and made public their outstanding determinations regarding the essence of the Imrali System. The delegation consisting of esteemed members Melinie Ann Gingell, Felix John Padel, Julie Ward, Shavanah Taj and Ögmundur Jónasson shared with the public their determinations of great importance on 17 February 2020. “Imrali is a laboratory of both repression and democracy. There is no trace of human rights in Imrali prison and the isolation affects the conditions of prisons in the entire country. At the same time, it is also possible that Imrali become a laboratory for the implementation of human rights all around Turkey. This does not go for Turkey alone, since Abdullah Öcalan’s ideas are of importance for the solution of the conflicts in the Middle East and worldwide.”