Kurdish TV in Denmark to Appeal ‘Terrorism’ Ruling

Posted January 13th, 2012 at 1:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Copenhagen-based Kurdish television network Roj TV has appealed a Danish court ruling that found it guilty of breaching anti-terror laws.

Roj TV director Imidat Yilmaz told reporters Friday that the station had been unfairly portrayed.

“The claims that the prosecution put forward that we are conducting propaganda for a terror organization and we mean that these claims are not correct. Now we are appealing and after their verdict we will decide what to do.''

A Copenhagen court ruled Tuesday that the owners of Roj TV were backing the rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States. The court said that between February 2008 and September 2010, the TV channel had uncritically disseminated PKK messages, inciting terrorism.

The court did not revoke the network's broadcasting license, but has imposed a fine of about $900,000 on the owners. That decision drew protests from Turkey, which wants the network silenced.

A lawyer for Roj TV, Bjorn Elmquist, said he was not allowed to present his evidence, and he hopes to be able to do it in a higher court.

“I wanted to supplement and wanted to show other ways of treating the news in ROJ where also other people than from the PKK were shown and quoted but that was refused. I couldn't do that — they said it was irrelevant. I hope that the second instance, the High Court, is going to change that and allow me to make this sort of evidence.''

The PKK has fought an armed struggle for autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984. The fighting has killed more than 40,000 people.

Turkey, the United States and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist group.