World News

Danish court fines Kurd TV for promoting terrorism

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Danish court fined the owners of a Kurdish television station on Tuesday after finding them guilty of promoting terrorism, court officials said, a decision welcomed by Turkey which is fighting Kurdish separatists.

Prosecutors said Roj TV, an international satellite station based in Denmark, was financed and controlled by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a group labelled a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Ankara has long sought to have Roj TV banned. However, the Copenhagen court did not revoke its broadcasting licence and instead fined the two companies behind it 5.2 million Danish crowns ($894,800).

Turkey’s ambassador to Denmark welcomed the verdict but said it was now up to the country’s broadcasting board to ban it.

The TV station’s attorney said he would advise his client to appeal the decision.

The court said that between February 2008 and September 2010 the TV channel had “one-sidedly and uncritically disseminated (PKK) messages, including incitement to revolt and to join the organisation”.

The PKK, which has fought an armed struggle for nearly 30 years, rejects the “terrorist” label and says it is fighting for Kurdish rights and independence. ($1 = 5.8376 Danish crowns)

(This version corrects Jan 10 report size of fine in paragraph 3)

Reporting by John Acher and Henriette Jacobsen; editing by Ben Harding