Living conditions in Turkey
We demand better living conditions for Mr. Abdullah Ocalan
To: Amnesty international & European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, CPT
The Turkish state and the government has long promised to the European Court and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, CPT, to change the brutal isolating conditions that has been held towards the Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan during eleven years on the prison island of Imrali in the sea of Marmara in Turkey. This gave us hope that the isolation would be removed and that Ocalan's right to life and his human rights would be respected. According to reports from both the CPT and the European Court,condition Ocalan lives in is a clear violation of all international laws regarding the respect of a prisoner, his human rights and human dignity are therefore not reasonable. This fact threatens both his mental and physical health. That Ocalan's physical and mental health has significantly deteriorated by his confinement on Imrali and the conditions he is held captive in, is also witnessed by his relatives and his lawyers. It has long been said by the Turkish government that the conditions Ocalan has lived in during the recent ten years should change. The actual result of this change occurred by an emergency report that Ocalan himself, his lawyers and relatives have published for the national and the international community.
The report presents that the Turkish state has set up a new prison, which Ocalan was transferred to on Tuesday 17 November 2009. According to the Turkish Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, nine other prisoners from different prisons around the country will also move there so that Ocalan will not be the sole prisoner on the island of Imrali. But no trace of this change has until now been recognized. Ocalan is still the only prisoner in a prison which is ten times more isolating and the conditions which he lives in are much more inhumane than the previous prevailing conditions.
Although the Turkish Ministry of Justice indicate that obvious changes have been made at the newly built prison on the island in order to improve the living conditions of Ocalan, the reality is quite the opposite. In the new prison and in the new cell which Ocalan is in, much worse conditions exist compared to the previous prison he has been held in. Ocalan’s new cell is only six square meters, while the previous cell was 13 square meters. The air conditioning is much worse than before, which leads to big difficulties in absorption of oxygen. The window is also extremely worse. It is constructed upwards and no oxygenated fresh air is let through. Its design prevents Ocalan from having a view of the outside world and the daylight that comes in from the window is very hot.