TV company Roj TV A/S v.Denmrak in case of stopping broadcasting

The company Roj TV A/S is a Danish company and television channel, which was granted a license to broadcast by the Danish Radio and Television Board in 2003. It broadcasts programs by satellite, mainly in Kurdish, throughout Europe and the Middle East from 2004. In September 2010, Roj TV and its parent company were charged with breaching anti-terrorism provisions of the Danish Penal Code for promoting the PKK in programs broadcast from 2006 to 2010.

The domestic courts found it established that the PKK could be considered a terrorist organization within the meaning of the Danish Penal Code and that Roj TV A/S had supported the PKK’s terror operation by broadcasting propaganda. It was fined and its license was withdrawn. The company invoked Article 10 of the Convention by complaining that its conviction had interfered with its freedom of expression. However, the ECHR found that the television station could not benefit from the protection afforded by Article 10 as it had tried to employ that right for ends, which were contrary to the values of the Convention. That had included incitement to violence and support for terrorist activity, which had been in violation of Article 17 (prohibition of abuse of rights). Thus, the complaint by Roj TV A/S did not attract the protection of the right to freedom of expression.

In its decision in the case of Roj TV A/S v. Denmark, the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final. In the meantime, Roj TV had declared itself bankrupt in 2011.

17. November 2023

HUDOC 24683-14