EU torture watchdog reports on Turkey's Imrali Prison

The CPT’s delegation received no allegations and found no other evidence of ill-treatment of prisoners by prison staff at Imrali Prison.

The CPT’s delegation received no allegations and found no other evidence of ill-treatment of prisoners by prison staff at Imrali Prison.

STRASBOURG, France - The treatment and condition of Abdullah Ocalan, founding member of the terrorist organization the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and six other inmates held at Imrali Prison is good, according to a EU report.

"Physical conditions in the cells remained of a good standard overall," the report by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) cited.

 As regards visits by relatives, the CPT welcomed the fact that Ocalan is now allowed, like the other prisoners on the island in the Marmara Sea, to meet family members also under open conditions (so-called table visits), in line with a recommendation made by the Committee after previous visits.

Social, cultural and sport activities are prepared for the inmates and they are able to associate and contact each other for a total of six hours per week, according to the government. However, despite activities such as painting, handicrafts or table tennis being available, they have not been taken up by the inmates. 

Yet Ocalan is not allowed phone conversations due to a prison rule which prohibits convicts this privilege, for fear of directing illegal armed organizations or conveying instructions and delivering messages to persons in and outside the establishment.

The response made by the Turkish government to the CPT report said Ocalan will be allowed to benefit from four hours of outdoor exercise per day similar to other prisoners in Imrali Prison.

The Turkish government also addressed the allowance of outdoor exercise by saying “all prisoners including Ocalan are accommodated in single rooms with separate adjacent yards. The prisoners enjoy outdoor excercise in their yard for a total of four hours per day.”

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