Trial against Kenan Ayaz: Court rejects more than 70 motions for evidence

On the 30th day of the trial against Kenan Ayaz, the State Security Senate at Hamburg Higher Regional Court once again showed that it is indifferent to the public’s access to the trial.

The Kurdish politician and activist Kenan Ayaz has been on trial in Hamburg for a year now. On the 30th day of the trial on Thursday, the queues of spectators outside the criminal court building stretched out into the street due to security checks, meaning that potential visitors were unable to reach the courtroom even if they had arrived three quarters of an hour before the start of the trial.

The defence asked the court to repeat the parts of the trial that had started before 10.24 a.m., when the last visitor had finally reached the courtroom, so that public observation of the trial could be guaranteed. The court rejected this request. It thus showed once again that it does not care about public participation in the proceedings. The judges had also rejected complaints about non-functioning loudspeakers in one of the trial rooms at a previous hearing.

Statement by the defence on the anniversary of the start of the trial

The three defence lawyers commented on the course of the trial in a statement. They explained that the court was not interested in the extent to which Kenan Ayaz’s accused actions were covered by freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. It based key facts solely on intelligence findings, which it refused to effectively scrutinise. In addition, it had not introduced key evidence – text messages and telephone conversations – in the public main hearing, so that the public could not take note of them and form their own impression of the evidence allegedly available against Kenan Ayaz.

All of the defence’s more than 70 motions for evidence, with which they had attacked the accusations made against Kenan Ayaz, had been rejected by the State Security Senate. The court concealed the political nature of the proceedings. “It does not clarify why the European arrest warrant against Kenan Ayaz was only applied for immediately before the 2022 NATO summit and the Federal Public Prosecutor General’s visit to Turkish President Erdoǧan. It ignores the fact that Erdoǧan personally praised the criminal proceedings against Kenan Ayaz. It also curtailed Mr Ayaz’s right to express his views and prohibited him from addressing a one-sided expert opinion on the ‘Turkish-Kurdish conflict’ in the main hearing,’ the defence said in its statement.

Rally for the freedom of Kenan Ayaz and Kadri Saka

On Saturday, a rally demanding the freedom of the two Kurdish activists Kenan Ayaz and Kadri Saka will take place at the Hamburg remand prison. The latter has been in custody in Hamburg since January on suspicion of alleged PKK membership. The event will begin at 14:30 at the Jungiusbrücke behind the remand prison.

Further trial dates

The trial will continue on 19 May. Further scheduled dates are: 27 June, 2 July, 9 July, 11 July, 17 July, 22 July and 19 August The trial will take place on the 1st floor of Hamburg Higher Regional Court at Sievekingplatz 3, either in room 237 or 288. The hearings will begin at 9.30 a.m.

Postal address and donation account

The website kenanwatch.org provides information in Greek, English and German about the trial and the protests in Cyprus and Germany. Kenan Ayaz is happy to receive mail. Letters can also be written in languages other than Kurdish or Turkish, as translation is guaranteed. Please note the spelling of the authority’s name ‘Ayas’ so that the letters can be delivered.

Kenan Ayas

Hamburg remand centre

Holstenglacis 3

20355 Hamburg