Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Support for RojTV from Norway community

19 October 2010

Several politicians, groups and associations from Norway express their solidarity to RojTV

New support to RojTV on the day of its trial comes from Norway. Several well known Norway politicians, activists, lawyers, former MPs expressed their solidarity with a public statement. "We wish to express our deep concern regarding the charges (supported publicly by the Danish Minister of Justice) brought against the pro-Kurdish television channel Roj TV for “supporting terrorists”, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)." says the statement.

The signatories from Norway also stressed that "Turkey has always tried to censor views on its Kurdish problem incompatible with the state ideology. Roj TV has since its foundation in 2004 been one of the many victims of this pressure. When Turkey urged Denmark to revoke Roj TV’s licence, the Danish independent broadcasting authority did not find any evidence to do so." But then as it is known more subtle, direct political pressure was put on the Danish Government. "Turkey - recall the statement - vetoed the appointment of Danish Prime Minister, Fogh Rasmussen, as Secretary General to NATO, because he refused to condemn the caricature of the Prophet, but relented when Denmark agreed to open a case against Roj TV. A deal behind the scenes had been made, Fogh Rasmussen against Roj TV, making this case highly politically loaded."

The statement ends with a call on "Danish authorities to resist the political pressure from Turkey and express the hope that Danish courts will do the same. Europe should assist in solving the Kurdish problem. This is not done by closing down Roj TV, the only channel today allowing Kurds in Turkey to receive news in their own language, without governmental censorship."

The signatories are listed below:

Ms Kariane Westrheim, Chair of EU Turkey Civic Commission (EUTCC), Norway

Mr Jon Rud, Human Rights Lawyer, Norway/Spain, Mr Erling Folkvord, Member of the City Council, Oslo & Former member of the Norwegian Parliament, Norway, Ms Ågot Valle, Former member of the Norwegian Parliament, Norway

Mr Haci Akman, Associate Professor, University of Bergen, Norway, Mr Yngve Seterås, Actor, The National Venue of Theatre, Bergen, Norway