Originally published: https://kck-info.com/statement-dec0522/
05 December 2022
Önder Apo’s lawyers have recently stated that the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) did not have a meeting with Önder Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] during its visit to İmralı in September 2022, as the CPT had publicly stated. The lawyers stated that there was information about the meeting not having taken place and that their concerns had increased due to this situation. The statement made by the lawyers shows that the CPT did not have any meeting with Leader Apo. Yet, the CPT had created the impression publicly that there had been a meeting.
This attitude of the CPT expresses the level of approach towards Leader Apo and the system of isolation and torture in İmralı. For the first time, although no meeting took place with Leader Apo, the Kurdish people and public opinion have been misled. This situation cannot and should not be treated as ordinary and normal. The deepening and continuous isolation and torture system in İmralı, the lack of any news from Leader Apo, as well as the attitude of the CPT, have exceeded the situation of being concerned about the health and life of Leader Apo and has brought the situation to a dangerous stage. This represents a new situation that has reached a dangerous limit.
Leader Apo has been kept under isolation and torture in Imrali for 24 years. He is subjected to isolation and torture because he has not given up on the Kurdish people’s cause for freedom and insists on the coexistence of the peoples. In fact, Leader Apo was imprisoned as the result of an international conspiracy and taken to the Imrali isolation and torture system in order to destroy the Kurdistan Freedom Struggle and to realize the Kurdish genocide. But Leader Apo has been resisting this isolation and torture system for 24 years. He has taken this resistant stance in the name of the freedom of the Kurdish people and the will of the peoples to live together. The Kurdish people have understood this reality very well from the beginning and have acted accordingly. They have always seen Leader Apo’s captivity as their own captivity and strongly embraced Leader Apo, stating that a free life can only be achieved with a free Leadership. This attitude of the patriotic people of Kurdistan has been the most important factor in defeating the aim of the international conspiracy and its Imrali isolation and torture system. Unable to break the resistance of Leader Apo and the attitude of the Kurdish people, the colonialist genocidal Turkish state and the fascist AKP-MHP government have brought the isolation and torture system to a new stage by blocking any news from Leader Apo and including the CPT in this process. This stage means that the health and life of Leader Apo has become uncertain and therefore endangered. Leader Apo’s health and life are now in definite danger. The attitude of the CPT has made this clear. The CPT does not act with the responsibility of preventing torture and protecting fundamental rights. On the contrary, it takes an attitude that approves and legitimizes isolation and torture. It is known by our people and by everyone that when it comes to Kurds and Leader Apo, European states and institutions, including the CPT, adopt a hypocritical and unprincipled attitude, and that morality and law are sacrificed for their own interests. This approach of the relevant European institutions, especially the CPT and the ECHR, mean that they are complicit in the Kurdish genocide. These approaches of Europe and the so-called institutions of law and justice cannot be explained in any other way. In fact, the İmralı isolation and torture system was established in accordance with and based on the European system. The CPT also acts according to the approach of the Council of Europe and the European states. Leader Apo has stated that it was the CPT that welcomed him when he was first taken to İmralı. Therefore, the CPT, the ECHR and other relevant European institutions are responsible for the İmralı isolation and torture system.
The CPT not only failed to make a statement about its visit to İmralı, but also manipulated, concealed and distorted the facts. This attitude of the CPT is unacceptable. It must immediately make a statement about what happened in İmralı and the situation of Leader Apo. The CPT and other European institutions are responsible for the situation of Leader Apo. They cannot evade this responsibility. Leader Apo, who represents the will of the Kurdish people, was imprisoned as the result of an international conspiracy and placed in the Imrali isolation and torture system. The international conspiracy was carried out by violating and breaking European law. The ECHR and the CPT have had to admit this fact in the past. They have stated that Leader Apo is being punished unlawfully and that the İmralı isolation system constitutes torture. However, due to the reconciliation of the Council of Europe and European states with the fascist AKP-MHP government and the genocidal system, the CPT and other institutions do not recognize their responsibilities and compromise with the torture system. The Kurdish people must show their reaction with a stronger attitude against the system of isolation and torture in İmralı, in which the CPT and European institutions are also involved and in which the life of Leader Apo has now entered a dangerous stage. The friends of the Kurdish people must also take a stronger stance to embrace Leader Apo and take action together with the Kurdish people to break the isolation in Imrali and bring an end to the danger to Leader Apo’s life. The CPT must make an immediate statement on the situation of Leader Apo. The request of Leader Apo’s lawyers to go to İmralı must be fulfilled immediately and the lawyers must be allowed to meet with Leader Apo. Until these two demands are realized, the protests must continue and increase.
The people of Kurdistan must no longer tolerate the Imrali system of isolation and torture. The Kurdish people have been able to exist until now through their struggle and resistance. Whatever they have achieved has been achieved through struggle and resistance. Leader Apo has been the architect, pioneer and representative of this struggle and resistance. For 24 years, he has demonstrated that he will not give up his stance of freedom by resisting the Imrali isolation and torture system. This attitude of Leader Apo, who represents the existence of the Kurdish people and the will of the Kurdish people to be free, can only be achieved by destroying the Imrali isolation and torture system, by taking a stronger attitude than the attitude put forward so far and by carrying out comprehensive protests to realize this. The people of North Kurdistan in particular and all our people in the four parts of Kurdistan and abroad need to take such a stance and increase their protests until the CPT makes a statement and the demands of the lawyers to meet with Leader Apo are fulfilled. In Kurdistan, a correct and meaningful attitude can be taken by defending Leader Apo and standing against the Imrali isolation and torture system. Without this, talking about patriotism and the cause of freedom of Kurdistan and its people has no meaning or value. All democratic institutions, political parties, intellectuals, writers and artists of the Kurdish people must act with this consciousness and responsibility and must strongly lead the protests against the isolation. This is a necessity of being patriotic and of being the vanguard of the people.
The struggle for Turkey´s democratization and liberation can only be waged by standing against the İmralı isolation and torture system. One cannot talk about democracy, freedom, justice and the struggle for them without standing against the isolation. Because with the İmralı isolation and torture system, not only the Kurdish people, but also the will and freedom of the peoples of the Middle East, especially the peoples of Turkey, are being isolated. Everybody needs to know that the fascist AKP-MHP government tries to survive by imposing absolute isolation in Imrali and waging total war on the Kurdish people. This government suppresses the demands for freedom and democracy and continues to usurp Turkey’s future. This reality is becoming clearer every day. Therefore, everyone in Turkey must clearly see that only by standing against the Imrali isolation and torture system and the Kurdish genocide can the fascist AKP-MHP government be opposed. This fascist mentality, which is an enemy of humanity and the people, can be overthrown and the way for democratic development in Turkey can be paved. Therefore, the peoples of Turkey, all democratic institutions and all those in favor of human rights and freedom must stand against the isolation of Leader Apo and take action together with the Kurdish people.
We therefore call on all friends of the Kurdish people, the patriotic people of Kurdistan and all those who are in favor of freedom, democracy and human values and who have a conscience to come together and carry out strong protests everywhere against the isolation and torture system in İmralı. These protests must take place with a strong and persistent attitude everywhere. This attitude must continue until the CPT makes a statement and the lawyers are allowed to meet with Önder Apo. No one should stand still while Leader Apo’s life is under uncertainty and danger. Everyone must take action with a spirit of strong mobilization.
KCK Executive Council