Thursday, December 08, 2005

From Margaret Owen, Member of Advisory Committee of the EUTCC,

From Margaret Owen, Member of Advisory Committee of the EUTCC, adviser to KHRP on Womens and CHildren's Rights, Member of the UK Bar Human Rights Committee, and Director of Widows for Peace through Democracy
December 8th 2005

Your Excellency The Prime Minister of Denmark,
The Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Minister for Justice
The Minister for Cultural Affairs
Index on Censorship

As a human rights Lawyer, working all over the world, but specifically in the South-East Region of Turkey where I have observed at close hand the appalling treatment of innocent Kurdish men, women and children, and also noted the defects in a justice system which is seriously prejudiced against the Kurdish population, I am appalled that the Danish Government has allowed itself to be influenced by the scurrilous allegations of the Turkish Government against the Kurdish satellite television, ROJ TV.

It is quite clear what is the intention of this libel. It is to to divert the attention of public opinion and EU countries from the realities of Turkey and military assaults against Kurdish people. Assaults which have led to loss of life.

In contravention of the Copenhagen criteria and the Harmonization Packages, the Turkish state continues to discriminate against use of the Kurdish language inside Turkey, and is now deliberately exporting its archaic and unacceptable policies to European countries as well.

Turkish latest effort is contrary to Turkey's accession to European Union. Your Excellency; I as an European citizen, as a Human Rights Lawyer, as a participant in ROJTV programmes on Kurdish Women's Rights urge you to defend the right of existence and free broadcasting of ROJ TV.I strongly protest against this unjust campaign by the Turkish authorities.

We in Europe look to countries like Denmark, with its fine record on democracy, freedom of expression, and on human rights to resist the spurious propaganda emanating from the Turkish Government, and immediately reinstate ROJTV1 in your country.

It is unacceptable that ROJTV should be harried and harrassed from place to place when they have a crucial role in seeing implementing the obligations that Turkey committed itself to when agreeing the Copenhagen Criteria.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Owen
Fax/Tel: 44 (0)207 603 9733
cell phone: 07770 945 916