A German court dismissed the case against the banning of a Kurdish publishing house and a multimedia company by the German ministry of the interior.
The ban was imposed on the Mesopotamia Publishing House and MIR Multimedia in February 2019 over allegations of affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), designated a ‘terrorist group’ in Germany. The ministry had claimed that these companies provided revenues for the PKK and helped enhance the group’s capabilities in Germany.
The two companies’ lawyer Dr. Lukas Theune spoke to Medya News on Wednesday after the court’s decision of dismissal was declared.
“We’d anticipated that the court would come up with a decision in favor of the repression against the Kurds in Germany. It is disappointing, but now we will move on with the next steps,“ Theune said.
“The court dismissed the case as unreasonable, stating that the Mesopotamia Publication House had been propagandistic for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, and had received funds from the group. Additionally, it’s been stated that the general director of the Mesopotamia Publishing House, who is also the general director of MIR Multimedia, had been found out to be a PKK member and that he’d sponsored some PKK events that were organised by the Federation of Kurdish Associations [YEK-KOM]. The companies will file a constitutional complaint.”
Both the Mesopotamia Publishing House and MIR Multimedia were raided on the 8th of March in 2018 by the police prior to the ban. Their premises were searched and almost eight truckloads of material, a complete recording studio, thousands of books and music CD’s were reportedly seized in the raid.
MIR Multimedia is the owner of a record label founded in the 1980s, specialising in Kurdish music. It was known to have one of the largest Kurdish music archives in the world. This archive is now in the possession of the German Police Department.
The Mesopotamia Publishing House is known to be one of the largest Kurdish publishing houses for Kurdish literature, history, children’s books, and also books about Kurdish political movements.
The Association of German Writers (VS) had released a statement in 2019 in strong protest of the ban.
Peter Stolle, a lawyer for the two companies had spoken to the German Magazine Börsenblatt in 2019, saying: “With the ban on these companies, important voices of the Kurdish culture in Germany have been silenced.”