4th September, 2023

They ask for Prokopious’ intervention for Kenan Ayas

letter to the Minister of Justice, Anna Koukkidou – Prokopiou, requesting her to take a position on the fate of the Kurdish fighter Kenan Ayas, was sent by MPs George Koukoumas and Kostis Efstathiou and George Perdikis and Eleni Theocharous, denouncing at the same time that the Ministry acted with unprecedented zeal in order to prove the Turkish narrative in the courts.

At the same time, they note that the Minister has not shown any expression of sympathy or even interest in the fate of his health, stressing that it has deteriorated in the last 24 hours, since he is on his ninth day of hunger strike.

The four indicated to Ms Koukkidi-Prokopiou, “you could and can either cause or order the suspension or termination of his prosecution or instruct that his temporary release be ordered pending the decision of the Court of Appeal”.

“We remind you of your duty as Minister of Justice and that you head a Ministry which has to do with Human Rights, the democratic character of our society and the functioning of the rule of law regardless of the origin, nationality of any person residing in Cyprus,” they underline.

The letter itself:

“Dear Minister

We are sending you this open letter in which we call on you to finally end your silence on the fate and life of the Kurdish fighter Kenan Ayas, who has been detained in the Central Prison for months under a European Arrest Warrant, with a view to his transfer to Germany. As you are well aware, the German authorities, under the pretext of false accusations against him about his participation in terrorist organisations (see Kurdish organisations), are demanding his extradition to Germany with the imminent risk of his subsequent surrender to the Turkish authorities, where he will certainly be subjected to inhuman, humiliating treatment, not excluding his death in the Turkish Prison.

Your Ministry has acted in the case of the Kurdish Freedom Fighter Kenan Ayas with unprecedented zeal in order to prove in the Courts the Turkish narrative, namely that the Kurdish Freedom and Democracy Fighter is a terrorist. Your Ministry has shown impressive consistency in constantly repeating the Turkish narrative. The culmination of this behaviour is that you have demanded and achieved detention throughout the extradition process of this man as a ‘dangerous terrorist’.

Kenan Ayas, as you are obviously aware, is on his 9th day of hunger strike without food. As a ministry you have tolerated his disciplinary punishment as misconduct in prison for demanding the obvious through the only protest measure available to him, the hunger strike. You have shown no expression of sympathy or even concern for his health, which we hope is due to workload. We inform you that his state of health has deteriorated very much in the last 24 hours. He will, however, continue his fight, demanding, as we have said, the obvious.

You could and can either cause or order the suspension or termination of his prosecution or instruct that his provisional release be ordered pending the decision of the Court of Appeal. We remind you of your duty as Minister of Justice and that you head a Ministry which has to do with Human Rights, the democratic character of our society and the functioning of the rule of law irrespective of the origin, nationality of any person residing in Cyprus.

With due respect

George Koukoumas, Member of Parliament AKEL

Kostis E. Efstathiou, Member of Parliament of Nicosia

Georgios Perdikis, Member of the Political Committee of the Ecologist-Civic Co-operation Movement

Eleni Theocharous, Former Member of the European Parliament, Former Member of Parliament”.

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