Denmark: Kurdish Roj TV channel prosecuted for terrorism ‘propaganda’

Defend Roj TV! Defend the rights of the Kurdish people!

Danish-based Kurdish TV station Roj-TV was cited for the promotion of terrorism, following years of investigation. The station has become a thorn in the side for relations between Turkey and Denmark, as Turkey banned the station in 2005 and has since accused Denmark of dragging its feet in the case, by taking five years to make a ruling. The case even almost cost former PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen his new post as NATO secretary general.

Roj-TV has been charged with the promotion of the Turkey Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a charge which marks the first time a Danish media organisation has been prosecuted for terrorism. Lars Barfoed, the minister of justice, confirmed that he has charged the station and it now looks likely that Roj-TV will lose its licence.

Roj-TV has been accused of transmitting TV interviews with PKK sympathisers and leaders on several occasions, and also running biased reports on talks between Kurdish and Turkish authorities that appear to promote the PKK. Just an hour after these charges were made public, police searched the station‌s offices and confiscated computers and documents.

The Turkish government has long claimed that the station is a mouthpiece for the PKK. A Turkish Foreign Ministry official told the Christian Science Monitor in 2007, that the PKK “is listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU. Denmark is a member of the EU, and we would expect that the broadcasting organisation of a terrorist group would not be given a free pass.‌”

The official went on to say that ‘Turkish authorities have repeatedly made formal complaints to the Danish Radio and Television Board regarding Roj -TV, but to date none of the complaints have been upheld by the board, who have ruled that the TV channel has not violated any rules over which they have regulatory power.‌

Since 1984 the PKK [Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan] took up arms for greater rights and autonomy in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey [Turkey-Kurdistan] which has claimed around 45,000 lives of Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas.

The PKK demanded Turkey’s recognition of the Kurds’ identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country’s Kurdish areas, the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

A large Turkey’s Kurdish community estimate to 25 million openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.

The PKK is considered a ‘terrorist’ organization by Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which overturned a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its political wing on the European Union’s terror list.


10 September 2010


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