14th September, 2023

Kenan Ayas does not consent to his political persecution, “Phileleftheros” Newspaper

protest against the extradiction of kenan

The Kurdish political refugee Kenan Ayas, who has been in detention since March 15, due to a German arrest and extradition warrant  for suspected membership in a terrorist organization, sent a message to the Cypriot people in the past few days. Ayas sends his greetings, love and respect to all those who sent messages of solidarity and support and describes his own “Odyssey” from Kurdistan and his imprisonment by the Turkish occupation state until his arrest at Larnaca airport.

He points out that Germany’s request for his arrest is “a continuation of the genocidal attacks launched by Turkey against the Kurdish people”, underlining that “today Germany has become a country that fulfills the wishes and demands of the fascist Turkish state”. It is a shocking message, through which he repeats that he arrived in Cyprus in 2010 and obtained political and state asylum because of the torture, oppression and political imprisonment he suffered at the hands of Turkey. He explains that he has no personal claim because what is on trial here “is the struggle of an oppressed and occupied people and the struggle of peoples to live freely together”. “The people of Cyprus are very familiar with the monistic and slaughtering approaches of the fascist Turkish state”, he stresses and expresses his conviction that the Cypriot people will support his struggle.

The proceedings continued on Monday before the Larnaca District Court, following the failure of the Asylum Service to approve access to Kenan Agias’ file for his defence lawyer Efstathios Efstathiou. As “F” is able to know, a witness from the Service will be called on subsequent dates.

On Monday, a total of four witnesses were called by the representative of the Legal Service, Vassilis Bisa, three of them from the police force. The first intercepted Kenan Ayas at Larnaca airport on the morning of Wednesday, March 15, while the second, who is of interest, executed the provisional arrest warrant at 17:00 in the afternoon. In fact, he did not present him with his rights in his native language and “used” the 48-year-old Kurdish political refugee’s companion as an interpreter. The third witness was the one who executed the European arrest warrant on the morning of Thursday 16 March.

During the examination of the fourth witness, an official of the Ministry of Justice, the proceedings were postponed until Friday. He presented as evidence the pan-European list of terrorist organisations, which includes the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), but it is the position of the defence that this does not justify the extradition of the wanted Kenan Ayas to face trial in a German court.

It is also worth noting that the clarifications requested by the German law enforcement authorities, both regarding the General Authorization of the German Ministry of Justice (regarding the arrests of heads of local organizations) and the extradition and trial procedure of Kenan Ayas in the country, are pending. Moreover, in his initial statement, the 48-year-old Kurdish man stated that he does not consent to the European arrest and extradition warrant, as he considers his persecution to be political.

Today, the defense filed a motion on behalf of Kenan Ayas to dismiss the panel of three judges because they showed bias against Kenan Ayas.

 

The defense had no choice but to make this extraordinary request because the court showed bias against Kenan Ayas by rejecting the defense’s request. The defense had requested that the newspaper article quoting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement about Kenan Ayas’ trial be considered as evidence and read in court.

 

The well-known German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) had summarized Erdoğan’s remarks in an article published on November 19 as follows: “The visit to the German capital had ‘opened a new chapter in our deep relations,’ Erdoğan said. He expressed his delight at a criminal trial at the Hamburg Higher Regional Court against an alleged official of the Kurdish terrorist group PKK. The man was arrested in Cyprus and extradited to Germany on the initiative of the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.” (See the press release of the defense from November 30, 2023).

 

The court rejected the request for the second time, arguing that Erdoğan’s statement had no relation to the case of Kenan Ayas. It was the second time that the defense had asked the court to allow this article to be part of the evidence. The defense had argued that Erdoğan’s statements showed that the extradition and trial of Kenan Ayas was in the interest of Turkey and that Kenan Ayas could be in danger after his release from prison because of the known habit of the Turkish secret service to operate outside of Turkey. In regard to both motions, the Public Prosecutor’s Office did not oppose the request but supported it by stating that there was an obvious connection between the article and the trial.

 

Despite the statement of the prosecution, the judges showed their determination not to deal with the Turkish influence on the trial. The judges have continuously tried to keep anything out of the trial that could indicate the political nature of the extradition request for Kenan Ayas and the charges against him.

 

Now another chamber of the Hamburg Higher Regional Court hast to decide on the motion to dismiss the judges. Until this decision is made, the trial will continue as scheduled.

 

 

Hamburg/Frankfurt/Nicosia, February 6, 2024

 

 

Attorney Antonia von der Behrens, Berlin

Attorney Stephan Kuhn, Frankfurt am Main

Attorney Efstathios C. Efstathiou, Nicosia, Cyprus

 

The FAZ article “Return to Turkey: Erdoğan calls Scholz the ‘other'” from November 19, 2023 can be found here:

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/rueckkehr-in-die-tuerkei-so-sieht-erdogan-seinen-besuch-in-berlin-19324031.html