Opening Press Conference at HDP Headquarters Ankara with Pervin Buldan, Julie Ward, Hişyar Özsoy, Melanie Gingell, Ögmundur Jónasson, Shavanah Taj and Felix Padel.
The İmralı Peace Delegation visited Turkey between 11th and 16th February 2020, witnessing and gathering evidence about the state of civil society and human rights in the country. The delegation sought to visit the imprisoned leader of the Kurdish freedom movement Abdullah Öcalan in order to assess his situation and conditions of detention. The annual delegation reports have provided a base measure of human rights in Turkey over the last decade and enabled a diverse group of academics, politicians, lawyers, faith leaders, journalists and trade unionists to visit various locations and assess the situation for themselves. The International Initiative organises the delegations with the primary purpose of keeping the cruel situation of Öcalan’s detention in the public eye, and as part of a wider campaign to highlight the need to reinstitute a peace process in Turkey.
The delegation this year consisted of Ögmundur Jónasson, former Justice Minister of Iceland and Honorary Associate of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Julie Ward, UK MEP until January 2020, Shavanah Taj, Leader of the Trade Union Congress in Wales, Felix Padel, sociologist and anthropologist, affiliate of Oxford University, and Melanie Gingell, Barrister, Associate Tenant Doughty Street Chambers, London. It held a series of meetings in Ankara with Ms Pervin Buldan Co-Chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and Hişyar Özsoy Deputy Co-Chair of HDP, Leaders of the Human Rights Association of Turkey, Liberationist Lawyers Association, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, and the Confederal Trade Union of Public Workers. In İstanbul they met with lawyers from Asrın Law Office on 15th February, the 21st Anniversary of the kidnapping of Mr Öcalan in Kenya. They then met Eren Keskin, leading Human Rights Lawyer with representatives of the Saturday Mothers. Continue reading “Report of 2020 International Peace Delegation to İmrali”