Friday, October 15, 2010

Roj TV: solidarity statements and actions

Following a protracted legal investigation, Danish Prosecutor Lise-Lotte Nilas is asking the Copenhagen district court to revoke Roj TV's broadcasting license alleging that it has violated Danish regulation prohibiting support for “terrorist organisations”. The court will take a decision on 19 October. In the past weeks many have risen their voice in support of RojTv. In the United Kingdom the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign: Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish question, has released a statement supporting RojTv. Patrons of the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign are Lord Avebury, Lord Rea, Lord Dholakia, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Jean Lambert MEP, Alyn Smith MEP, Hywel Williams MP, Elfyn Llwyd MP,  John Austin (former MP), Gareth Peirce, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Edward Albee, Mark Thomas, Bairbre de Brún MEP.

Roj TV and its predecessors known as Med TV and Medya TV have all come under continuous and intense pressure from the relentless lobbying of the Turkish authorities in Europe.

In March 2010, Roj TV’s studios were raided by Belgian security forces, accompanied by Turkish officers. The raid removed vital equipment, computers and caused damage amounting to millions of euros. Journalists were harshly manhandled and faced water cannon fired at them outside the building and some staff were arrested.

Roj TV has been broadcasting under Denmark license since 1 March 2004. On 31 August 2010, with the permission of the Ministry of Justice a closure case has been opened against Roj TV on the allegation of one-sided broadcasting and promoting terrorism. The case has not only been opened for the closure of ROJ TV and Mesopotamia Broadcast companies; but also the bank accounts of the two companies were confiscated by the prosecutor.

Roj TV has been broadcasting in all dialects of Kurdish, as well as Syriac, Arabic, Turkish, Persian and English since its establishment. Roj TV is the only news, culture, art and music TV channel for Kurds who live in Iran, Syria, Iraq and Turkey, as well as for the Kurds who have to live any other countries in the world.

According to Roj TV staff "there is no legal basis of this case and the decision of freezing of our accounts. This case, which is a fully action in line with the request of Turkish state and the international forces, is not only an injustice committed against Kurds but also a big blow to the freedom of thought and information. It is a massacre against thought and more importantly, it is an intervention which does not regard the will, language, culture, art and political identity of the Kurds whose population has reached 40 million in the world."