ISTANBUL (Hürriyet Daily News)–The Kurdish-language television station Roj TV has been nominated as a candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize by a prominent group of human rights activists that includes former honoree Desmond Tutu, a South African archbishop.
The 150-member group that suggested the Denmark-based station – accused by the Turkish government of being a mouthpiece for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)–also includes Inge Genefke, who works on behalf of torture victims, and Tue Magnussen, a member of the Danish Helsinki Committee, as well as various human-rights activists.
The five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for the selection of eligible candidates and the choice of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.
On a visit to Turkey in August with a group of veteran statesmen dubbed the “Elders,” Archbishop Tutu called on the Turkish prime minister to take action to bring about a solution to the Kurdish question.
To be eligible for the Nobel Peace Prize, a candidate must be nominated by qualified individuals, including former winners. Though the prize has previously only been awarded to individuals, it can also be given to institutions and associations. Information about the nominations, investigations and opinions concerning the award is kept secret for fifty years.
Speaking to the Danish daily Politiken, Genefke said Roj TV reflected the Kurdish people’s sorrows and the situation in Turkey to the world. Saying that Turkish media is restricted by government pressure, she added that the broadcaster contributes to the development of national awareness of Kurdish people.
The Danish Justice Ministry, which has launched a closure case against the broadcaster, did not issue a statement about its candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize. Tom Behnke of the Danish opposition party said it was strange for a television station that Denmark had tried to close down to be nominated for the prize.