19th October, 2023

Joint press release on the case of Kenan Ayas – Trial set to begin on November 3rd

The trial against Kenan Ayas is scheduled to begin on November 3rd at the Hamburg Higher Regional Court.  The court rejected the motion to dismiss the charges and the motion to release Kenan Ayas from custody.


The court sided with the prosecution and dismissed all arguments the defence raised against the thinly reasoned indictment. The kind of evidence used against Kenan Ayas, such as the alleged organization of legal demonstrations and meetings, will now have to be challenged by the defense during the trial.


On the issue of pre-trial detention, the court also followed the prosecution and ordered the pre-trial detention of Kenan Ayas to continue. The court did not even mention the fact that the long detention is particular difficult to bear for Kenan Ayas because of the severe persecution he has suffered in Turkey, including unlawful imprisonment and torture. In addition, the court did not address the very harsh conditions of Kenan Ayas’s detention, which make the detention even more difficult.


As stated in previous press releases, although Kenan Ayas has not been charged with any act of violence, the rules used for terrorists are being applied to him. Even his letters to his lawyers are under surveillance and take a very long time to be delivered, he can only see his lawyers and visitors through a glass window, and it took the prison almost three months to allow him to receive books from outside. He still does not have the books, although he needs some of them to prepare his defense. He is still not allowed to attend German classes to alleviate the severe isolation he faces due to his total lack of German.


These conditions also make it very difficult for the defense to prepare for the trial.


The hearing is scheduled to last fifteen days.


The time and place of the hearing are:

Place: Oberlandesgericht Hamburg, Sievekingplatz 3, 20355 Hamburg, 1. Stock, Saal 237

Hamburg Regional Court, Sievekingplatz 3, 20355 Hamburg, Germany, 1st Floor, Courtroom 237

Time: The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. and visitors will be admitted from 9:00 a.m. on.

Dates: 03.11., 07.11., 13.11., 16.11., 23.11., 24.11., 27.11., 30.11., 05.12., 07.12.,

11.12., 14.12., 19.12., 20.12., and 21.12.2023.


The hearings will be open to the public. The date, time and location of the hearings are subject to change at short notice. Inquiries from the media regarding access to the proceedings should be directed to the press office of the Higher Regional Court at [email protected].

Berlin,  Frankfurt, Nicosia, October 19th 

Defense attorneys for Kenan Ayas:

Rechtsanwältin (lawyer) Antonia von der Behrens, Berlin/Germany
Rechtsanwalt (lawyer) Stephan Kuhn, Frankfurt am Main/Germany, and
Advocate Efstathios C. Efstathiou, Nicosia, Cyprus.