4th September, 2023

Costas Mavridis asks for intervention for Kenan Agia

Through letters to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, MEP Costas Mavridis raises the serious issue of the extradition of the Kurdish activist Kenan Ayas to Germany.

In his intervention, Mr Mavridis explains that Kenan Ayas is a Kurdish activist, who was persecuted in Turkey because of his political views and his action in favour of human rights and was forced to leave because his life was in danger, while for some years now he has found refuge in Cyprus as a political refugee.

The MEP also referred to the history of his arrest by the Cypriot authorities following the European arrest warrant issued by Germany. In fact, as argued by Ayaz’s lawyer, it is based on general and unsubstantiated accusations of Ayaz’s possible support, through financial and other means, of terrorist activities.

He also notes that it is extremely worrying that there are no necessary assurances from the German authorities that Ayaz will not be extradited to Turkey and that in such a case, Ayaz’s life is in extreme danger.

It also stresses that the European Union and other international organisations have repeatedly noted in their reports that there is no rule of law and no independent judiciary in Turkey, which has become a huge prison for hundreds of thousands of academics, journalists, activists, Kurds, etc. on charges of “terrorism”. In addition, Mavridis referred to the health issues that Agias faces as a result of his 12-year imprisonment in Turkey under inhumane conditions and horrific torture.

For his part, Mr Mavridis called for urgent intervention by the leaders of the European institutions in order to take immediate and concrete action to ensure that Kenan Ayaz’s human rights are respected and his life is protected. He also underlines that the issue of Kenan Ayas cannot be handled procedurally but is an issue with serious political implications, which touches on respect for basic human rights, which we as the EU have made a priority and at the core of our Union.