Three Kur­dish TV chan­nels taken off the air

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

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.

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