Germany bans Kurdish satellite broadcaster Roj TV
A Danish-based Kurdish broadcaster, Roj TV, has been banned from German soil because of its support for conflict against Turkey, interior officials in Berlin said Tuesday.
Roj, which means The Day, has also been stripped of its broadcasting licence in Germany, although its satellite transmissions to western Europe can be picked up by satellite dish as before.
The Interior Ministry said Roj was a mouthpiece of the Kurdish Workers Party PKK, which has been outlawed in Germany and which has used armed force in pursuit of autonomy for ethnic Kurdish regions of Turkey.
Officials said Roj had encouraged viewers to become guerrillas.
Its production company in Germany, VIKO Fernseh Produktion GmbH based in the western city of Wuppertal, was dissolved at the same time as the ban was issued on June 19.
Roj's parent, Mesopotamia Broadcast A/S, a Danish-based private broadcasting company, was probibited from activity in Germany.
Officials said an inquiry into Roj which began in September led to a raid on the VIKO offices on May 7.
Ulla Jelpke, an official of Germany's Left Party, which has been sympathetic to the Marxist-inspired PKK, attacked the ban.
She said Berlin was pouring oil on the flames of the Turkish- Kurdish conflict by "gagging" an important source of news to Kurds. She said millions of people in Turkey and Europe counted on Roj broadcasts in Kurdish, Turkish, Arabic and Persian, reported dpa.