ROJ-TV’s licence in Germany

roj_tvROJ-TV today received news that it had won a temporary stay against the removal of its operating licence in Germany.

ROJ-TV, a transnational Kurdish satellite station, began broadcasting on 01 March 2004 with a licence issued by the Danish Radio and Television Board. Like its predecessors, MED-TV and MEDYA-TV, ROJ-TV has been accused by Turkey of being a mouthpiece of terror. In 2006 a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said of the station ‘We know for sure that ROJ-TV is part of the PKK, a terrorist organisation.’ As proof, the government official said that the station had direct links to the PKK because the TV station released the names of slain PKK fighters before Turkish authorities had.

In response to three complaints by Turkish authorities in 2006, the Danish Radio and Television Board determined in May 2007 that ROJ-TV had not violated any broadcasting rules (see ruling memo, .pdf) nor had they incited violence or hatred.

Last summer, however, Germany declared ROJ-TV illegal following more complaints from Turkey that it was ‘broadcasting

Pro-ROJ TV demonstration in Germany

Pro-ROJ TV demonstration in Germany

rebel propaganda.’ The German Interior Ministry said that ROJ-TV was a mouthpiece of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is outlawed in Germany, and had encouraged viewers to become guerrillas.

Today’s decision by the federal administrative tribunal in Leipzig, Germany said the ban would not come into immediate force, because it could not rule out a legal challenge to the ban being successful when it comes to full trial. No date has been set yet for the main hearing.

Watch ROJ-TV live online here.

sources:

Kurdish television channel Roj wins stay in Germany, monstersandcritics.com, 18 May 2009

Schliefer, Y. Denmark, again? Now it’s under fire for hosting Kurdish TV station. Christian Science Monitor, 21 April 2006

Kurdish broadcaster banned in Germany, Deutsche Welle, 24 June 2008

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