HDP MPs march from Parliament to Justice Ministry for rights of sick prisoners

HDP lawmakers have marched from the Parliament to the Justice Ministry, calling for the release of sick prisoners and demanding the termination of isolation imposed on PKK inmates on the İmralı Island.  

Duvar English

Lawmakers of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on Oct. 3 marched from the Parliament to the Justice Ministry for the rights of severely sick prisoners.

The lawmakers held banners reading “Do not stay silent to isolation,” “End to deaths in prisons” and “Let sick prisoners be released.”

HDP group deputy chair Hakkı Saruhan Oluç said that severe rights violations and unlawfulness have been taking place for a long time now in prisons.

“The issue of sick prisoners reached a calamitous situation. There are currently about 1,600 sick prisoners, 604 of whom are severely ill. In the last nine months, 62 prisoners lost their lives in prisons.

“We want to talk with the Justice Minister and tell about our opinions about the unlawfulness in the prisons. We want urgent measures to be taken. The issue of isolation is another matter. Those imprisoned on İmralı (referring to the jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party leader Abdullah Öcalan and other PKK inmates on the island) are being exposed to inhumane isolation, which is against international agreements,” Oluç said. 

The last time Öcalan was allowed to see his lawyers was on Aug. 7, 2019 after being unable to meet with them for eight years. Since then, lawyers have filed more than a hundred petitions to see their clients, but they were all turned down.

As for his family, Öcalan was allowed to talk with his brother Mehmet Öcalan on March 25, 2021 on the phone. This was the last time that he held contact with a family member.