The 48-year-old Kurdish man Kenan Ayas, 48, who was arrested at Larnaca airport on Wednesday 15 March when he was found to be wanted by German law enforcement authorities on suspicion of involvement in a terrorist organization, will remain in custody until Tuesday 21 March. On Friday, Agias, who is recognized as a political refugee by the Republic of Cyprus, was brought before the Larnaca District Court which ordered his detention for four days.
The further detention of the 48-year-old, who has been in Cyprus for 10 years, was deemed necessary in order for the Turkish and German warrants to be translated so that the case could be examined and a final decision made. The arrested man has served a 13-year prison sentence in Turkey and is on a long list of wanted men for his involvement in Kurdish organizations.
According to the German warrant, Kenan Ayas is the head of local Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) delegations in Germany and was responsible for holding events to obtain sponsorship for the Kurdish cause. The documents of the German prosecuting authorities do not mention any clear criminal acts, apart from participation in a terrorist organization, namely the PKK, which was founded by Abdullah Ocalan and has been the main voice of the Kurdish national liberation struggle for decades.
With the arrest of Ayas, Kurdish organizations mobilized, with the Kurdistan Cultural Centre “Theophilos” issuing a statement calling for his release. The statement stressed both the identity of Kenan Agias and the demand to remove the PKK from the list of terrorist organizations.
The statement also noted the case of the Kurdish militant Cherkez Korkmaz, whose case is considered to be similar to that of Agias. The Kurdish community in Cyprus is preparing a major solidarity event for Kenan Agias on Monday at the Ministry of Justice.
Read more: Kurdish political refugee wanted by Germany on terrorism-related charges arrested at Larnaca airport