Kurdish Roj TV fined but remains on air

By bianet.org:

The Copenhagen City Court in Denmark has ruled against stopping broadcasts of the Kurdish satellite channel Roj TV but imposed a fine of DKK 65,000. A trial was pending against the television channel on the grounds of its alleged connection to the outlawed armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Roj TV stood accused of having spread propaganda for the PKK. At the hearing, the court dismissed the request to close down the television channel and did not annul its license. The court imposed a monetary fine of 65,000 Danish kroner (€ 8,700) by reason of a violation of the Danish anti-terror law by Roj TV and the Mesopotamia Broadcasting Company.

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) released a written statement about the decision. BDP Co-Chair Filiz Koçali stated on behalf of her party:

“Many people in police custody were asked the question, ‘Why did you speak on Roj TV?’, which was taken as the reason for many arrests in Turkey. After a long period of investigation and trial, Roj TV is not going to be closed down. We hope that this will be an example for Turkey”.

What happened?

Roj TV has been broadcasting via satellite from Copenhagen since 1 March 2004. On 31 August 2010, it was decided at the request of Copenhagen Chief Prosecutor Jörgen Steen Sörensen to open a trial against the television channel related to the “anti-terror law”

The prosecutor had alleged that Roj TV “made propaganda for the PKK and was financed by the organization”. Sörensen had demanded a DKK 10 million fine for the Mesopotamia Publishing Company and Roj TV Inc. and the closure of Roj TV.

Turkey has urged the Danish authorities to close Roj TV ever since the channel was established.

This article has been lightly edited.

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