German Federal Court approves the Mesopotamia and Mir ban

The German Federal Administrative Court ruled that the Ministry of Interior's decision to prohibit Mesopotamia Publishing House and Mir Muzik in 2019 was "in accordance with the law." The legal battle of Kurdish institutions will be taken to higher court.

Mesopotamia Publishing House and Mir Music, two prominent Kurdish cultural and artistic institutions in Germany, were banned on February 1, 2019, by a decision of the Ministry of Interior. Following the judgment, the German police seized both institutions' books, CDs, and music archives. Mesopotamia Publishing House and Mir Music filed a judicial challenge to the ministry's decision, which highlighted the PKK ban in place since 1993.

The case was heard at the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, the country's highest administrative law institution, for the annulment of the ministry's ban order against both organizations and for the delivery of the confiscated property. Following the hearing of the case, which started in the morning and lasted throughout the day, the court committee verbally conveyed the decision to the lawyers at night, which was supposed to be announced at 17.00 pm.

The court board determined that the ban decision made by the Ministry of Interior in 2019 was "in accordance with the law." The justifications for the ban, however, were rejected by the lawyers of both institutions during the hearing, which lasted many hours and featured hours of debate between the lawyers of Mesopotamia Publishing House and Mir Music and the lawyers engaged by the Ministry of Interior.


The lawyers stated that the following assessment and claim was noted in the court's decision: "Of course, Kurdish cultural and musical works are within the area of freedom of thought, which is guaranteed by German legislation. However, the activities of Mesopotamia Publishing House and Mir Music were done in close proximity to and funded by a prohibited organization."

The Federal Administrative Court is anticipated to issue its ruling in writing in the coming days, indicating that it approved the ban decision made by the Ministry of Interior in 2019 as a result of dirty bargains made between the Merkel government and the AKP-MHP cabinet at the time.


The defense lawyers for Mesopotamia Publishing House and Mir Music told ANF that the court committee was under political pressure and that the judges were struggling to find a legal underpinning for the ban. Lawyer Lukas Theune, who announced that they would object to the Federal Administrative Court's reasoned decision and take the matter to the Federal Constitutional Court, a higher legal institution, evaluated the verdict with the following words:

“The court's support for the prohibition is a legal disgrace because the Kurdish culture is at question here. As a result, we will continue our legal fight. If the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe upholds the Ministry of Interior's prohibition judgment, we will again take the issue to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), because domestic law solutions in Germany have been depleted.”