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 Denmark: Ex-Kurdish ROJ TV head takes on new identity after threats to his life 

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Denmark: Ex-Kurdish ROJ TV head takes on new identity after threats to his life   16.8.2010  

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Ex-Kurdish ROJ TV head in hiding

August 16, 2010


COPENHAGEN, Denmark, — The former managing director of ROJ TV, Manouchehr Zonoozi - who has been living under police protection after going public about the Kurdish TV station’s close links to the Turkey Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the spring – has now been moved to a new secret location following fresh threats to his life, reports Berlingske Tidende.

In May of this year, Zonoozi told the newspaper of the close ties between the TV station and the PKK, which is considered to be a terrorist group by both the US and the EU.                

The former managing director of the Copenhagen-based Kurdish television station ROJ-TV, Manouchehr Zonoozi.
Zonoozi said he does not regret the move to come clean and would not have changed the past, but the consequences have been significant. Earlier this summer he was moved to another new address after the national intelligence agency PET estimated there were concrete threats to his safety.

The origin of the threats remains unclear, but the disclosure of the links to the PKK angered Kurdish communities across Europe. ROJ TV is the largest Kurdish TV station in the world and is an important source of information for the many Kurds living across Europe, as well as Turkey, Syria and Iraq.

Zonoozi was fired in mid-2008, allegedly by a member of the PKK who told him both he and his family would be killed if he contested the dismissal. Zonoozi,
www.ekurd.netwho continues to co-operate with the PET, has been given a new identity and a safe house, and still enjoys access to his family. There remains a threat to his safety, though, as he is still in dispute with ROJ TV over his last pay check and severance settlement, which means his former employer will have access to his new name through the court papers.

Since 1984 the PKK [Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan] took up arms for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey [Turkey-Kurdistan] which has claimed around 45,000 lives of Turkish soldiers and Kurdish PKK guerrillas.

The PKK demanded Turkey's recognition of the Kurds' identity in its constitution and of their language as a native language along with Turkish in the country's Kurdish areas, the party also demanded an end to ethnic discrimination in Turkish laws and constitution against Kurds, ranting them full political freedoms.

A large Turkey's Kurdish community estimate to 25 million openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK rebels.

Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish language and private Kurdish language courses with the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish politicians say the measures fall short of their expectations.
 

Copyright, respective author or news agency, The Copenhagen Post | cphpost dk | Agencies 

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