Ocalan files a lawsuit against Greece in the ECHR


Imprisoned PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) leader Abdullah Ocalan applied to the ECHR (European Court on Human Rights) through his lawyers and argued that the practices against him during his stay in Greece were contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.

Ocalan claimed that Greece acted against the convention by not examining his application for asylum in Greece, by holding him in the country without legal basis, depriving him of the opportunity to seek his rights before the Greek courts and handing him over to the Turkish authorities while he was in the hands of the Greek diplomats in Kenya.

Ocalan said he was "ill-treated" by the Greek police when he set foot to Greece on October 9, 1998, which was a violation of Article 3 of the ECHR on the prohibition of inhuman and ill-treatment. He also argued that his transfer from Greece to Kenya and his handing over to the Turkish authorities there violated Article 2 of the ECHR regarding the right to life and Article 3 regarding ill-treatment, and his "de facto" custody without legal basis during his stay in Greek territory was a violation of Article 5.

Ocalan also claimed that he was not allowed to file a lawsuit against the rejection of his asylum application before the Greek administrative courts, and that was a violation of Article 6 of the ECHR regarding the right to a fair trial.

Ocalan applied to the Athens Administrative Court in 2008 saying that the decisions taken by the Greek authorities in 1999 were contrary to the principle that a person who has applied for asylum twice cannot be sent back, but Ocalan's request was rejected in 2017 by the Athens Administrative Court which said in its decision that "the policy followed by the Greek government was beyond the administrative jurisdiction's control.”

Upon Ocalan's application, the ECHR requested opinion from the Greek government and Ocalan's lawyers and asked the Greek government if Ocalan was handed over to the Turkish state by Greek agents.

Now as the process goes, both parties have 12 weeks to submit their opinion to the Court. Based on these views, the ECHR is expected to issue a decision in the case within the next year. The court may also hold a hearing during this process.

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