Prison conditions of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, jailed leader of PKK, is satisfactory, according to a report prepared by The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
ISTANBUL – The EuropeanCommittee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) published a report on its visit to Turkey from Jan. 16-17. The report focuses on the İmralı F-Type High-Security Closed Prison where Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan is serving life sentence.
The delegation was able to privately interview six prisoners currently held at İmralı Prison and examined their relevant administrative and medical files. According to the CPT report, the delegation received no allegations and found no evidence of ill-treatment of prisoners by prison staff at İmralı Prison. Moreover, the report also states that inmates generally spoke favorably about the manner in which they were treated by prison officials and guards.
The report cited that the transfer of five other prisoners to the island in 2009 had a positive impact on Öcalan and the CPT hailed the amount of time prisoners could spend outdoors, however Öcalan is only allowed to partake in two hours of outdoor exercise per day and the CPT recommended that Öcalan be allowed the same time outside as other prisoners as well as being allowed to have contact with other prisoners during his outdoor exercise. The suggestion that Öcalan be allowed to speak on the telephone with members of his family was further reiterated. The CPT welcomed the fact that Öcalan is now allowed, like the other prisoners on the island, to meet family members. However, CPT called upon the Turkish authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure that all prisoners at İmralı Prison are able, if they so wish, to receive visits from a lawyer.
The report also stated that a television set and adequate healthcare services are provided to Öcalan. It highlighted that recommendations repeatedly made during previous visits have finally been implemented, while the cooperation of Turkish authorities throughout the visit was also praised in the report. CPT delegations carry out visits periodically (usually once every four years), but additional "ad hoc" visits are carried out when necessary.
The CPT was set up under the Council of Europe's "European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," which came into force in 1989. The CPT organizes visits to detention facilities, including prisons, juvenile detention centers, police stations, holding centers for immigration detainees, psychiatric hospitals and social care homes. CPT delegations have unlimited access to places of detention, the right to move about facilities without restriction and interview detainees in private and communicate freely with anyone who can provide information.
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