Kurds protest against police crackdown on news channels

More than 400 people gathered at Place Poelaert in Brussels on Saturday afternoon to protest against the Belgian police's crackdown on Kurdish news channels Sterk TV and Medya News TV. According to the protesters, the police raid is part of an attempt to suppress press freedom.

Last week, searches were carried out at the Kurdish media outlets Sterk TV and Medya News in Denderleeuw. These were part of a European Investigation Order issued by the French judiciary. According to the federal prosecutor's office, they were looking for possible evidence of terrorist financing. During the operation, doors were forced and technical equipment and computers were seized.

Dissatisfied with those searches, the Council of Kurdish Communities in Belgium organised a protest on Saturday. “As the Kurdish people fight for their freedom, the Kurdish media play a vital role in ensuring that the voice of the Kurdish people is heard by the international community," a spokesperson said.

In a statement, the two media outlets described the police operation as an illegal and undemocratic attack. “In the face of all forms of repression, our pen will continue to write and our camera will continue to film the truth," they said.

In March, riots broke out between Kurds and Turks in Limburg and Ghent. The unrest also spread to the capital, where a demonstration turned into a mass brawl.


A Kurdish demonstration in front of the European Parliament, July 2023 © BELGA PHOTO LOU LAMPAERT


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