International Initiative
Freedom for Ocalan – Peace in Kurdistan
P.O. Box 100511, D-50445 Koeln
Telephone: +49 221 130 15 59
Fax: +49 221 790 76 10 30

03 July 2012

Documentation: Press statement by Asrin Law Office

Statement of the Asrin Law Office on the Isolation of their client, Abdullah Öcalan

The isolation that our client Abdullah Ocalan has been kept under since 1999 in the High Security F Type Prison on Imrali Island has been further aggravated from 27 July 2011 on. Since that day, the government arbitrarily prevents Abdullah Ocalan from meeting his legal representatives or receiving visits from his family. Every week we apply for a consultation with our client. Since 27 July 2011 we have made 96 such applications; each time they were rejected by the state authorities with non-serious and untenable justifications like "boat broken" or "bad weather". At the same time our client has been deprived from his right to use telephone, fax or similar means of communication to inform about his situation or his state of health. Thus we could establish no communication with our client whatsoever, except for one letter that he wrote on 3 February 2012 that we received on 17 February.

Due to this ongoing isolation our client is not up-to-date about the developments in his pending complaint procedures before the European Court of Human Rights and cannot actively exercise his right to defence. Besides, shortly after the Prime Minister targeted them publicly, on 22 November 2011 almost all of Mr Ocalan's lawyers have been detained in an operation against the Asrin Law Office which has taken on Mr Ocalan's legal defence. 36 of his lawyers have been remanded in custody. The aim of this unparallelled operation was to leave Abdullah Öcalan without defence.

The Prime Minister as well as other representatives of the government have stated openly that the ban on visits that has been in place since 27 July 2011, the longest ban against our client so far, was their deliberate decision and is arbitrarily imposed in breach of applicable law. On the other hand our client clearly explains in his letter that nonattendance at his brother's visit on 19 January 2012 was a reaction to the conditions of the visits (illegal overhearing by an unauthorised person, recording of the consultations and lack of guarantee that lawyers will not be imprisoned). Despite this, press organs close to the government claim with headlines like "Çarpıtıyorlar Aldatıyorlar" ("They distort and cheat") that Ocalan does not want to see his lawyers. These claims are completely unfounded and aim at distorting the current situation. The aim of such unfounded reports on our client, which have multiplied lately, is to legitimise the ongoing, intensified isolation that violates his human rights and to stop the public reactions that have developed against it.

Our client plays a key role for a peaceful solution of the Kurdish issue. During the last year in which no consultations have taken place the clashes have further intensified and claimed more lives. If we take this into account, it becomes obvious that the ban on consultations with our client contributes nothing to peace and a democratic solution.

Therefore we state that the government must allow for consultations with Abdullah Öcalan and put an end to his arbitrary isolation which ignores domestic and international law and gives rise to serious concern about his life and health. We are presenting this unlawfulness to the public and call to show sensitivity in the light of this serious situation and its disastrous consequences.

03 July 2012
Asrin Law Office

First signatories of the International Initiative:

Máiréad Maguire (Nobel Peace Prize, Northern Ireland), Dario Fo (Director, Writer, Actor, Nobel Prize in Literature, Italy), Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Nobel Peace Prize, Argentine), Jose Ramos-Horta (Nobel Peace Prize, East-Timor), José Saramago (Nobel Prize in Literature, Portugal), Danielle Mitterrand (President, Donation France Liberté, France), Ramsey Clark (Lawyer, former Attorney General, USA), Uri Avnery (Former Member of Knesset, Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc), Israel), Prof. Dr. Noam Chomsky (Linguist, Writer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA), Alain Lipietz (Member of the European Parliament, France), Pedro Marset Carpos (Member of the European Parliament, Spain), Mrs. Jean Lambert (Member of the European Parliament, GB), Lord Avebury (Chairman, Parliamentary Human Rights Group, House of Lords, GB), Harry Cohen (Member of Parliament, Labour Party, GB), Cynog Dafis (Member of Parliament, Plaid Cymru, GB), Lord Raymond Hylton (House of Lords, GB), Lord Rea (House of Lords, Great Britain), Walid Jumblat (President, Socialist Progressive Party, Lebanon), Rudi Vis (Member of Parliament, Labour Party, GB), Paul Flynn (Member of Parliament, Labour Party, Great Britain), Máiréad Keane (Director, International Department, Sinn Fein, Northern Ireland), Domenico Gallo (Lawyer, former senator (CI), member of Magistratura Democratica, Italy), Livio Pepino (Lawyer, President of Magistratura Democratica, Italy), Xabier Arzalluz (President, PNV (Basque Nationalist Party), Tony Benn (Member of Parliament, Labour Party, GB), Giovanni Palombarini (Lawyer, former president of Magistratura Democratica, Italy), Heidi Ambrosch (Vice-president and Women Speaker, Communist Party of Austria), Mag. Walter Baier (President, Communist Party of Austria), Giana Nanini (Artist, Italy), Geraldine Chaplin (Actress, Madrid, Spain), Dietrich Kittner, (Humorist, Writer, Cabarettist, Germany), David MacDowall, (Writer, GB), Alice Walker, (Writer, USA), Franca Rame, (Actress, Director, Writer, Italy), Prof. Dr. Jean Ziegler (Member of the Swiss National Council, Publisher, Switzerland), Dr. Diether Dehm (Vice President, PDS, Germany), Prof. Dr. Angela Davis (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA), Prof. Dr. Luigi Ferraioli (Philosophy and Law Professor, Italy), Prof. Dr. Uwe Jens Heuer (Law Professor, Berlin, Germany), Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Narr (Comittee for Fundamental Rights and Democracy, Germany), Prof. Dr. Werner Ruf (International Law Professor, Kassel University, Germany), Prof. Dr. Norman Paech (International Law Professor, Hamburg School of Economy and Politics, Germany), Prof. Dr. Gerhard Stuby (International Law Professor, Bremen University, Germany), Prof. Dr. h.c. Ronald Mönch (Chair of Bremen Highschool, Germany), Prof. Dr. Elmar Altvater (President, International Lelio Basso Donation for the rights of the peoples, Germany), Prof. Dr. Helmut Dahmer (Sociology Professor, Darmstadt Technical University, Germany), Prof. Jürgen Waller (Chair of School of Arts, Bremen, Germany), Christine Blower (Former President, National Union of Teachers (NUT), Great Britain), Ken Cameron (General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union (FBU), GB), Josep Lluis Carod Rouira (President ERC, Barcelona, Spain), Michael Feeny (Adviser of Cardinal Hume in refugee affaires, GB), Gareth Peirce (Lawyer, Great Britain Frances Webber, Barrister, GB), Norbert Mattes (Information Project Near und Middle East, Germany), Yayla Mönch-Buçak (Oldenburg University, Germany), Dr. Mamoud Osman (Kurdish Politician, Great Britain), Jutta Bauer (Book Illustrator, Germany), Günther Schwarberg (Journalist, Germany), Hans Branscheidt (medico international / Appell von Hannover), Germany, Rolf Becker (Actor, IG Medien (Media Union), Germany)

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