European court chides Turkey over Kurd leader Ocalan

PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan - 1999 pic after his capture Abdullah Ocalan was snatched in Kenya by Turkish special forces

Related Stories

The European Court of Human Rights says Turkey has violated the rights of the Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been imprisoned in an isolated island jail since 1999.

His solitary confinement, until November 2009, was "inhuman", the court said. Later his conditions improved - he has had some limited social contact.

Ocalan's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been waging a 30-year armed struggle for Kurdish independence.

A year ago, Ocalan called for a truce.

More than 40,000 people have died during the group's insurgency.

No retrial

Ocalan was convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment without any possibility of conditional release.

The Strasbourg judges said such a sentence was also a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

His trial followed his capture by Turkish commandos in Kenya in 1999. He complained to the European Court in 2003, stressing his social isolation and the impossibility of release.

The Strasbourg ruling is not final - and Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said Ankara would appeal against it.

The Ocalan "case is closed and it is out of the question to reopen it," Mr Bozdag said, quoted by the AFP news agency.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Martin Gardner as a young manThink hard

    Was this man the world's greatest puzzle master?


  • Carved pumpkinTrick or treat

    What did a riot at a pumpkin festival show about race in US?


  • A woman puts on a surgical mask during hospital Ebola training in Alabama.'Dark continent'

    Is prejudice fuelling Ebola outbreak hysteria in the US?


  • Oscar de la Renta and Oprah WinfreyIn pictures

    The life and work of Oscar de la Renta


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • Smart glassesClick Watch

    Smart spectacles go into battle – the prototypes looking to take on Google Glass

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.