- UN Secretary , Amnesty International & European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, CPT
“Enough is enough, Öcalan’s health is our health”
The Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan, has been kept on the one man prison island of Imrali since 15th February 1999. This island prison, declared a forbidden area by the military, is being administered such that unlawful treatments are the norm. Hence, Mr Öcalan is under intense solitary confinement. On 1st March 2007 Mr. Öcalan’s lawyers presented documents of laboratory reports on samples of Mr. Öcalans hair, which showed chronic poisoning. Due to these conditions Öcalan is suffering from serious health problems, and yet no diagnosis has been made and no significant treatment has been undertaken.
Abdullah Öcalan was transferred to a new prison on the island of Imrali on 17th November. In his weekly meeting with lawyers he said:
‘‘I have been finding it hard to breathe because of the air-conditioning system here. My situation is becoming worse due to these conditions. I am living here in a semi-conscious, half dead’’ he stated. Referring to the new prison, Öcalan said that it was a recommendation by the CPT (European Committee for the Prevention of Torture). He went on to comment: ‘‘The new prison was recommended by the CPT and ECHR (European Court of Human Rights). This place is their project. They are also responsible for me being held here and for these conditions. I sent a report to the CPT and ECHR regarding my conditions here. In this report, I stated that my conditions needed to be changed. I said, ‘You are responsible for this situation, take account of your responsibilities, and protect the rights that you have guaranteed’.”
‘‘Furthermore, human rights activists must be able raise their voices in the face of all these violations and say, ‘Disclose Öcalan’s situation: what is going on there?’ and call for a clear public statement. It must be requested of the CPT that they reverse this mistake and improve conditions. They need to come and inspect this place: this is their duty. The CPT came before and inspected the (old) prison. It was the CPT that recommended for me to be moved to an F-type prison; they requested the construction of this prison and the creation of these conditions: it is written in their reports. All of this was requested by the CPT. They told me that my conditions here would be better, but this has not happened: my conditions are worse than before. They need to come here and see their creation. They cannot fool us, they must not try it. I am assessing my transfer here as a coup: I am defining it as the 17th November coup.’’
After 1st March 2007 the Kurdish people made their voices heard through mass meetings and hunger strikes asking for Mr. Öcalan’s health to be taken seriously and for the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) to send an independent body of doctors to Imralli Island to treat Mr. Öcalan.
If we take a look at the last three reports of the CPT before this visit, we can see that none of the advisory notes made by the CPT were taken seriously by the Turkish authorities. Instead Mr Öcalan’s situation and the conditions have become worse. The Turkish authorities, just as with all other international agreements, do not respect the CPT reports.
All of these issues have lead to the rising concerns of the Kurdish people which are increasingly leading to our demands for a response. It is unacceptable on humanitarian grounds that the Kurdish people’s leader’s life can be sacrificed in order to appeal to the sensitivities of Turkey.
To stay silent in the face of these procedures imposed against the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan, means to condone the Turkish state’s annihilation policy towards the Kurds. Due to the international support the Turkish state is receiving, it is continuing its pursuit of policies of violence and neglecting all attempts at a peaceful and democratic solution.
Regarding Abdullah Öcalan’s health, we call upon the European Council and the CPT to pressure Turkey into taking the CPT’s advisory proposals seriously. We call upon all people who believe in democracy and human rights; “do not remain silent towards the crimes of the Turkish authorities against the Kurdish people”.
Our indefinite demonstration will last until the European Council and CPT will make a statement regarding the results of the laboratory findings from the samples of the Kurdish people’s leader, the carrying out of the necessary treatment, and the transfer of Abdullah Öcalan from the one man prison island of Imrali.
As a young Kurd I call upon everyone to support our humanitarian demonstration to make the European Council and CPT make a move.
As a young Kurd I say “Öcalan’s health is my health, do not harm my health”.
I am writing this letter not only to inform you of the situation but for universally accepted legal norms to be put into practice. I call on you to live up to your humanitarian responsibilities.
I ask this from you to prevent the flow of blood, to prevent further tragedies - this is also the expectation of my people. With the belief that you will fulfill your responsibilities, I send you my best wishes with the utmost respect.
The Save Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan:.. Mr. Öcalan's Health is Our Health petition to UN Secretary , Amnesty International & European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, CPT was written by rojaciwan and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.