Thursday, 14 October 2010
DUBLIN, -- Kurdistan Solidarity in Ireland called on the Irish Minister for Communications to issue a licence to ROJ- TV if the Danish court shuts it down.
Kurdistan Solidarity in Ireland also warned Danish authority not to damage its own standard of free speech for the sake of Turkish government.
The application for ROJ-TV broadcasting is as follows:
His Excellency: Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Dear, Eamon Ryan TD
Kurds in Ireland condemn the latest threats to ROJ-TV. We view the current legal proceedings against the Kurdish satellite channel, which will be heard on 19 October, as purely political and as being carried out at the request of Turkey. With this collusion Denmark is damaging its own standards of free speech.
ROJ- TV is a Kurdish satellite channel which has production studios in Belgium but is licensed in Denmark. It broadcasts news, current affairs, cultural and entertainment programmes to an audience of over 40 million people across Europe and the Middle East. ROJ- TV and it precursors Med TV and Medya TV have all come under intense pressure from the Turkish authorities.
In March 2010 Belgian forces, alongside Turkish commandos, raided ROJ- TV’s studios in Belgium, firing water cannon on the journalists outside, arresting many and causing millions of Euros worth of damage to equipment.
Such attacks on Kurdish parties, organisations and media are clearly attempts to criminalize the Kurdish nation. These attacks are rejected by Kurds, who will continue their dignified struggle for democracy and parity of esteem in Turkey.
By colluding with the Turkish state in this manner, the Danish authorities are calling their own standards of freedom of speech and adherence to human rights into question. The ideals of democracy and free speech on which the European Union was founded are not exclusive, and Kurds will not be deterred in their struggle for these rights.
It is our expectation and hope that all charges against ROJ- TV will be dropped by the Danish courts and the station can continue broadcasting without threat or pressure.
We also demand that the Turkish authorities cease harassing and criminalizing Kurdish journalists and ROJ- TV, and instead support ROJ- TV as the voice of the Kurdish people, in line with the Turkish government’s stated aims of democratisation and the “Kurdish Opening” policy. If the Danish licence is revoked then Turkey should support ROJ- TV and facilitate the station in transferring its broadcast centre to Turkish Kurdistan.
If both Denmark and Turkey fail to support the Kurdish station, its employees and its viewers, then we call on the Irish Government and particularly Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, to grant an Irish broadcasting licence to ROJ- TV in a gesture of solidarity with the station’s journalists, viewers and with the Kurdish people.
Kurdistan Solidarity in Ireland