16th May, 2023

Day 3 – Α Unanimous Verdict of Shame

A unanimous decision to reject the appeal of Kurd Kenan Ayas was issued today by the Supreme Court, ratifying the first instance decision to extradite him to Germany. Amidst tension, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal of Kenan Ayas, who remains in custody.

The Supreme Court did not agree with the defence’s position that there is no presumption of a criminal offence against Ayas and accepted the German documents regarding his membership of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

In their unanimous decision, Katerina Stamatiou, Charis Malachtos and Ioannis Ioannidis, spoke of a separation between Germany and Cyprus regarding the treatment of the PKK, accepting Kenan Ayas’ participation in the organisation, although he did not admit this. Despite the fact that in the German documents justifying the European warrant, the reference is vague and does not contain a presumption of a criminal act against the Kurdish fighter, who is recognized as a political refugee since 2013 in the Republic of Cyprus.

Moreover, the Supreme Court’s ruling, which confirmed the first instance decision of the Larnaca District Court, stressed that Germany cannot proceed with a successive extradition of Ayas to Turkey without the consent of Cyprus, while recognising as “terrorist” the speeches he gave in Hamburg and other German cities between 2018-2022. The Supreme Court finds no violation of Kenan Ayas’ human rights, no persecution of political opinions or unfair trial.

In the meantime, according to Kenan Ayas’ defence lawyer Efstathios Efstathiou, the case will go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, while the Kurdish fighter himself is expected to be extradited to the German authorities within 10 days. Although his health condition is deteriorating, he will continue his hunger strike until his vindication. “The Supreme Court did not dare as the judge in Larnaca dared in the case of the Kurdish man Cherkez Korkmaz in 2019 or as judges in Greece dare in similar cases,” Mr Efstathiou said.