German court supports Facebook’s Kurdish censorship
A Munich court issued the verdict for the case of Kerem Schamberger against Facebook for closing his account for sharing a statement criticizing the PKK ban, ruling in favor of Facebook.
Due to their cooperation with the Erdogan regime in recent years, the social media giant Facebook has been censoring symbols of the Kurdish freedom struggle and comments related to them, and freezing the accounts of people who post such content.
Activist and academic in the Munich University’s communications department, Kerem Schamberger’s post on the Azadi Association’s press statement on the 25th year of the PKK ban had been censored by Facebook last November. Schamberger’s post was deleted and his account was frozen for a long time.
Schamberger sued Facebook Ireland Limited, the global giant’s European headquarters, and his lawyers appealed to fast track the case, citing the hunger strikes, death fasts, Turkish army attacks and critical processes in Turkey and Kurdistan.
THE COURT: FACEBOOK IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW
The Munich Administrative Court issued a verdict in the case that started last May. The judge said Facebook deleting Schamberger’s post and freezing his account is “in compliance with the law”, arguing that the PKK is a banned organization and the post in question constitutes PKK propaganda.
The court said, “There is no change regarding the PKK ban or PKK’s activities,” and backed the PKK ban the German state has been imposing since 1993.
Academic and activist Kerem Schamberger spoke to the ANF about the verdict and said he isn’t surprised. Schamberger added that he will continue to seek his legal rights against Facebook’s censorship.
WHY DO RIGHT WINGERS WHO SUE FACEBOOK WIN?
Schamberger pointed out that the verdict is a sign of how the German state and judiciary approach the Kurdish freedom movement and continued:
“So strange that German courts often issue a different verdict for cases against Facebook for removing posts by right wingers that include insults against Chancellor Merkel and other politicians. Facebook is ordered to reinstate the right wingers’ deleted posts. Theirs is considered freedom of expression, mine ‘support for terrorism’, allegedly.”
Schamberger said he will file another suit against the court and exercise his legal rights against the Facebook censorship to the end. Facebook and their famous legal team in Frankfurt submitted a 30-page defense to the court, citing theses that the Turkish state has been using against the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom for years, and argued that their censorship was justified.