Demo in front of the Palace of Justice in Brussels condemns the raid on Medya Haber TV and Stêrk TV

The raid on Medya Haber TV and Stêrk TV studios was denounced in front of the Palace of Justice in Brussels.

Belgian police raided the premises of the Sterk, Roj and Hevron public companies in Denderleeuw, Belgium at around 1:30 am on 23 April. The raid against Kurdish TV stations, carried out by the Belgian Federal Police, occurred without prior notification to lawyers and company officials. In the late hours of the night, when nobody was in the building, police forcibly entered the offices, destroying broadcasting tools and press materials, notably computers.

A demonstration was organised in Poel Art Square in front of the Palace of Justice in Brussels against the Belgian police raid on Medya Haber TV and Stêrk TV studios. Employees of Medya Haber and Stêrk TV, non-governmental organisations, Belgian press, press unions, free press workers, Kurdish politician Emin Pencwini, KCDK-E co-chair Engin Sever, NAV-BEL members, KNK member Nilüfer Koç also participated in the demonstration.

The doors and cameras broken by the police in the television building were also brought to the demonstration. Banners reading "No freedom of the press for Kurds?", "You cannot silence Kurds" and "Free press cannot be silenced" in Flemish, English and French were displayed during the protest, which started after a minute of silence.

"This operation was carried out to criminalise the Kurdish press and to silence our voices. We do not accept this attack,” said NAV-BEL co-chair.

Kezban Doğan on behalf of the TJK-E said: "I condemn the attack on the free press. This is not the first attack on our televisions. They wanted to silence us before, but they could not, and they will fail again to silence us. Turkey is making occupation plans, and this attack is not independent of these plans. As TJK-E, we say that despite all the attacks, you will not be able to destroy us. The free press will not be silenced."

Medya Haber TV employee Heval Arslan stated: "About 200 police carried out the raid, the roads of the town where we are station were blocked, and no one was allowed to approach. The police aggressively broke all our doors and equipment. Even though we had the keys, they broke 98 cupboards and 41 doors. Our computers were confiscated. The screen in our studio was broken. Free media is a great danger for Turkey! This attack took place under pressure from Turkey and at the request of France. We do not accept these attacks. There is freedom of press in all countries, but there is no freedom for the Kurdish press. We will continue to expose Erdoğan's crimes. We will continue to tell the truth to the people."

Maxime Ramirez of the Belgian Socialist Party also condemned the attacks.

Rishi Sing, a Belgian peace activist, also spoke, condemning the targeting of Kurdish TV channels.

Stêrk TV employee Sebahattin Gültekin recalled the past massacres and exiles against the free press and said: "However, we have experienced the same attacks in the centre of Europe, in the cradle of democracy. Today, Brussels has become the capital of attacks. European democracy and justice have failed. Political and economic interests led to these attacks. This is the capital of Europe, the European Parliament is here and must stand against these attacks. We do not accept attacks against the press. We will not give up, we will not cower. Everyone must protect the free press and the right to receive news."

Maurice Kohn, a Belgian Peace Activist, gave the message that "Freedom of the press is important for everyone."

Stêrk TV employee Hindirin Hewrami also reacted to the attacks.

The door broken by the police and the cameras brought for the protest were left in front of the Palace of Justice.