Three Kurdish TV channels taken off the air
The Danish court revoked the license of the three satellite channels—MMC, Sterk TV and ROJ TV— broadcast by Mesopotamia Broadcasting. The channels also received a fine of five million DKR.
The channels were found guilty of promoting the PKK, the Kurdish separatist organization which features on several lists of terrorist organizations.
According to Danish law, the PKK is a terrorist group and broadcasting propaganda in its favor is illegal. The court decided to revoke the channels’ license.
Roj TV "served
as a mouthpiece for the PKK with invitations to join the PKK and participate in terrorist actions", a Copenhagen court statement read.
The two companies behind the broadcaster were also sentenced to pay five million DKR (€670 000, $869 000) each in fines.
The court found "personal, financial, organizational and historical ties" between the accused companies and the PKK.
The PKK is considered a 'terrorist' organization by both Ankara and the US. The PKK remains on the European Union blacklist, despite a court ruling over- turning a decision to place the Kurdish rebel group and its political wing on the EU terror list.
A district court ordered the two companies to pay fines totaling 5.2 million DKR in January 2012, but did not revoke the broadcaster's license at the time.
The Danish authorities first filed charges against Roj TV in 2010 following a five-year enquiry into its broadcasts amidst allegations that it supported the PKK.
The last major operation was on 4 March 2010, when dozens of arrests were once again carried out by the Belgian authorities acting on a request from Turkey; indeed, Turkish policemen took part in the raid at the Roj TV studios, which were destroyed. As a result of this clearly politically motivated operation, the TV channel suffered material damage valued at €1.2 million.
Roj TV broadcasts an eclectic program ranging from news to in-depth investigative journalism, and from live music programs to live debates. It broadcasts in both Kurdish (Sorani, Kurmanci and Zazaki) and Turkish.