ECtHR dismisses PKK leader Öcalan’s application claiming ill-treatment in prison

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Thursday dismissed a complaint filed by Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Öcalan claimed he had been subjected to ill treatment and threatened by İmralı prison guards on Oct. 7, 2008 during a search of his cell.

The ECtHR unanimously ruled that the application was “inadmissible” and found that there was no arguable claim that Öcalan “had been subjected to treatment in breach of Article 3 of the Convention.”

“The Court observed in particular that, on the day of the alleged incidents and on the following days, Abdullah Öcalan had been examined by a number of doctors, who had not found any signs of physical injury or mental distress,” the top EU court explained in a statement.

The court added that the leader of the PKK terrorist group had not “himself mentioned anything of the sort” or “filed a complaint with the prison administration or the public prosecutor responsible for the prison.”

“As to the investigation, the Court explained that in the absence of any arguable claims, the national authorities did not have any obligation to conduct an effective investigation,” ECtHR said. The decision is final, according to the top EU court.

Öcalan, who is the convicted head of the PKK, has been jailed in Turkey since 1999. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK launched its insurgency in 1984. It is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. (

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