Danish Kurds face new terror funding trial

The acquittal of ten Kurdish men on charges of funding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party has been appealed to the Eastern High Court.

Danish Kurds face new terror funding trial
The Kurdish defendants celebrated their acquittal on October 22nd, but will now see their case go to the Eastern High Court. Photo: Jens Astrup/Scanpix
Ten Kurdish men were acquitted by the Copenhagen District Court last month on charges that they funnelled money to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) via Roj TV, a Copenhagen-based Kurdish satellite channel that had its licence revoked last year for "glorifying terrorism".
The district court ruled that the men could not be found guilty of funding the PKK, which is officially recognised as a terror organisation by the EU and the US, because they raised money for Roj TV before the channel was found guilty of promoting terrorism. 
But the prosecutor in the case, Lise-Lotte Nilas, has now said that she will appeal the decision. 
“We are appealing the criminal case to the High Court because after a thorough reading of the verdict we are in disagreement with the district court’s evaluation of the evidence,” Nilas said in a press release. 
The ten Kurds raised up to 140 million kroner ($23.8 million) for Roj TV, which for years was accused by Turkey of functioning as a mouthpiece for the PKK. Turkish security forces have waged a 30-year conflict with the PKK, whose battle for self-rule in the southeast of the country has left 40,000 dead.

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Danish politicians demand freeze on weapons exports to Turkey

Denmark should follow the example of Nordic neighbours Norway and Sweden and halt weapons exports to Turkey, two left-wing parties in parliament have demanded.

Danish politicians demand freeze on weapons exports to Turkey
Pia Olsen Dyhr in parliament. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) and Socialist People’s Party (SF), part of a three-party group which props up the Social Democratic government, made the calls after Norway and Sweden both announced they would move to suspend all new arms exports to Turkey.

The decisions from Oslo and Stockholm came country after Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

“We must absolutely follow Norway and Sweden’s examples and ensure we immediately stop all weapon sales to Turkey from Denmark, and recommend to the EU next week a full European freeze on weapons exports,” Red Green Alliance foreign spokesperson Eva Flyvholm said.

SF’s leader Pia Olsen Dyhr echoed those sentiments.

“Denmark should, like other Nordic countries, stop all export of military equipment. We cannot justify selling weapons to a country which uses them against an ally in the fight against international terrorism,” Dyhr said in an email to Ritzau.

“We can’t stop Erdogan’s aggressive behaviour alone. So we need other European countries to join us,” she added.

The third government ally, the Social Liberals, have taken a more cautious position, with foreign policy spokesperson Martin Lidegaard advocating options for a joint EU response be drafted.

READ ALSO: Denmark summons Turkish ambassador over Syria offensive