European Committee against Torture: Restrictions imposed on Ocalan and his colleagues are unacceptable

The Committee against Torture said today, Wednesday, that the restrictions imposed on Commander Abdullah Ocalan and his comrades imprisoned on a Turkish island are unacceptable, and urged him to be given more external contacts, as well as to reduce solitary confinement.

According to the report of the Council of Europe's Anti-Torture Committee (CPT) regarding the 2019 visit to Turkey, which included a rare arrival in Imrali, where the committee spoke to all prisoners at the time.

The committee said: The system to which prisoners were subjected has not improved at all since the last visit in 2016.

It said: The four prisoners are still only allowed to meet as a group for six hours a week, and as a group of two people for another three hours per week, while meeting during daily outdoor exercises remained prohibited.

"As a result, all the prisoners were held in solitary confinement most of the time," it said, noting that the period of solitary confinement per week was 159 hours out of 168 hours per week, and from the committee's point of view, this situation is unacceptable.

CPT regrets the almost complete absence of family visits in recent years to Ocalan, and also rejects requests for visits from his lawyer since 2019.

"A balance must be struck between security considerations and the basic human rights of the prisoners concerned," it said, calling for a sustainable system of regular visits by family members and lawyers to Imrali.

But the commission said: "The basic concept of the system of detaining persons sentenced to life imprisonment is fundamentally flawed," calling for a comprehensive reform of the system of detention of these prisoners.



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