Danish court fines pro-PKK broadcaster, cancels licenses
Director for Roj TV İmdat Yilmaz (L) in Copenhagen on July 3. A Danish court fined Mesopotamia Broadcast, which controls Roj TV, MMC and Nûçe TV, and stripped them of their right to broadcast after ruling that the broadcaster did indeed receive support from the PKK. AP photoMesopotamia Broadcast, which operates a number of channels that are accused of being mouthpieces of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been found guilty of promoting the militant group by a Danish court and stripped of its broadcasting rights.
The court fined Mesopotamia Broadcast, which controls Roj TV, MMC and Nûçe TV, and stripped them of their right to broadcast after ruling that the broadcaster did indeed receive support from the PKK, the Copenhagen Post reported today.
Roj TV A/S and Mesopotamia Broadcast, the two companies that own Roj TV, were each fined 5 million kroner (670,000 euros) for promoting terrorism in the years between 2007 and 2010.
“Two companies were accused of promoting terrorism via TV channel broadcasts,” the high court verdict read, according to the daily’s report. “The court found that PKK was a terror organization that the accused companies had promoted through their broadcasts.”
But Roj TV has denied any guilt in the case, and one of its lawyers, Bjorn Elmquist, pointed to the fact that the case took eight years to process as proof that it had become a political case rather than a judicial one, the Copenhagen Post said.
The channel was fined 5.2 million kroner, but the companies behind the channel were able to continue broadcasting its signal, which caters to Kurds, particularly those in Turkey.
The decision, in turn, prompted prosecutors to take the case to the high court in order to stop the channel from broadcasting out of Denmark.
Last September, police arrested eight people on suspicions of financing the PKK. The court said that between February 2008 and September 2010, the TV channel had supported terrorism by broadcasting PKK messages and that it had accepted money from the outlawed group.
A joint press conference of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Danish counterpart, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, was canceled to avoid a crisis stemming from Roj TV’s presence at the March 20 meeting when Erdoğan paid a visit to the Danish capital.
In 2005, during a previous visit to Denmark, a press conference between Erdoğan and former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen was called off after Danish officials refused Erdoğan’s demand to have the Roj TV correspondent removed from the hall.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.