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    ECHR: Turkey violated European Convention in Ocalan case

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found that Turkey has violated Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights with regard to its treatment of Kurdish Leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    BDP co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş must put an immediate end to the İmralı system and introduce a provision that complies with the ECHR."

    Ocalan's application to the ECHR claimed violations of articles 2, 3 and 8 of the Convention.

    In its judgment the ECHR found by a majority of 4 to 3 that the fact "there was no possibility of parole for Öcalan was a violation of Article 3" of the Convention.

    The Court emphasised that a life sentence meant lifelong isolation for Mr Öcalan and ordered Turkey to pay 25,000 euro in compensation.

    Four judges against three ruled that the Article 8 of the convention on the "Right to respect for private and family life" was not violated by Turkey. And unanimously ruled that Article 7, "No punishment without law," was not violated.

    The European Court of Human Rights ruled that PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan's "aggravated" life sentence violated the convention article related to "prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment".

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a verdict on the various applications of Abdullah Öcalan, PKK leader. The aforementioned applications concerned his "aggravated" life sentence in İmralı Prison submitted by Öcalan's attorneys in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007.

    Ocalan's attorneys complained about their client's social isolation in the prison on the island of İmralı and his sentence of life imprisonment without any possibility of release.

    Under Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), they also complained of restrictions on Öcalan's telephone communications, on his correspondence and on visits from his relatives and lawyers.

    Lastly, relying on Article 2 (right to life), Öcalan's lawyers alleged that he was gradually being poisoned in prison.

    As regards the period subsequent to 17 November 2009, the Court found that Öcalan had not attained the minimum threshold of seriousness required to constitute inhuman treatment and there had not therefore been a violation of Article 3.

    On the other hand, ECHR held that Öcalan's social isolation had not been total but partial and relative in respect of the period prior to 17 November 2009. Neither could he be regarded since that date as having been held in serious social isolation. The ruling was held by six votes to one.

    Responding to press inquiries, President Abdullah Gül said the following on the ECHR verdict:

    "I saw the ECHR verdict this morning, however experts need to work closely on the document."

    BDP co-Chaire Selahattin Demirtaş, said  "After the elections the government must put an immediate end to the İmralı system and introduce a provision that complies with the ECHR."

    Demirtaş emphasised the important findings in the judgment, saying: "Firstly, it has found Mr Öcalan's aggravated life sentence to be a violation."
    Demirtaş stressed that it was vital the government change the law to allow the possibility of parole, saying according to the European Convention on Human Rights that a person could not be held in prison until they died.

    Demirtaş added that the Government had a Constitutional obligation to implement the judgments of the ECHR, "If the judgment is not implemented within 3 months the Council of Ministers must put the judgment on its agenda.

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