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Danish Radio and Television Board opens new proceedings in Roj TV case

posted on 09 February, 2012   (public)

On 10 January 2012, the Copenhagen Municipal Court  delivered a verdict in the case vs. ROJ TV and Mesopotamia Broadcast A/S, METV. The court ruled that ROJ TV and Mesopotamia Broadcast are in violation of the Penal Code's provisions about terrorism. More specifically, the Court held that ROJ TV and Mesopotamia Broadcast are financed by the Kurdish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group labelled a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, and have acted as a mouthpiece for the PKK. Both ROJ TV and Mesopotamia Broadcast were fined with together 5,2 million DKR - a little less than 700.000 Euros.
The court did not find however that it could withdraw or confiscate the broadcast registration. The verdict has been appealed by ROJ TV/Mesopotamia Broadcast.

On 23 January 2012, the Danish Radio And Television Board (Radio og tv-nævnet) decided to open new proceedings against Mesopotamia Broadcast, the registered company, as a result of additional information provided by the ruling.  More specifically, the Court held that editorial decisions are made in Belgium and that the PKK decides on the programme content, which makes a difference from the previous information according to which ROJ TV was only transmitting information from and about the fight between Turkey and the Kurds. The Board expects to make a decision within 6 months.

On 19 January, Eutelsat announced its decision to suspend the presence of Roj TV on its satellites further to the ruling of the Copenhagen court in order to avoid incurring criminal liability as an accomplice to terrorist activities. Intelsat has also suspended broadcasting Kurdish Roj TV on 31 January.

Source: Radio and Television Board