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Fifth day of hunger strike for Kurdish activist

ayaz appeal
Photo source: CNA

Imprisoned Kurdish activist Kenan Ayaz’s indefinite hunger strike, which began on May 4, continued for the fifth day on Monday.

Ayaz’s appeal against the decision to extradite him to Germany will be heard on Tuesday at 9am.

In a statement, the Kurdistan Cultural Center Theophilos stated that with the indefinite hunger strike, which it described as the last means left to him,the activist is seeking to be released and not extradited to Germany.

Kenan was arrested on a European warrant issued by Germany, which is seeking his extradition on terrorism charges.

Since Friday, a group of seven Kurds and one Cypriot have started a hunger strike in front of the Supreme Court, now in its fourth day, in solidarity with Ayaz.

The Kurdish Cultural Centre has called for a rally to be held in support of the activist at 10:30am in front of the Supreme Court, on Tuesday during the hearing, the results of which are expected to be announced on May 16.

In statements to the media on Saturday, representative of the Kurdistan Cultural Centre Lambros Kallenos said Ayaz faced the prospect of being sent to Turkey where his life would be in danger.

“We demand that Kenan Ayaz not be extradited because he will end up in Turkey. Germany has been an ally of Turkey for decades. We cannot give credit to the guarantees they give. In Turkey, Ayaz is awaiting a 36-year prison sentence and his life will certainly be in danger.

“As Cypriots, we say that it is inconceivable that Cyprus would cooperate in such an extradition of a fighter who participated in the Kurdish struggle. He is not accused of anything specific that you can say is terrorism. He simply took part in seminars at a university in Germany, published a book, gave speeches. This is not terrorism,” he added.

However, while reading the verdict confirming the acceptance of the activist’s extradition request, president of Larnaca district court Michalis Papathanasiou said that “no evidence presented before the court pointed to a further extradition of Ayaz to Turkey from Germany.”

Papathanasiou also added that, given the activist’s concerns, the Larnaca court requested Germany not to proceed with a further extradition to Turkey.

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