"Rwanda: The Untold Story" EU envoys criticise suspension of BBC service in Rwanda

The service was suspended in October after a documentary by the broadcaster questioned official accounts of the genocide, in which 800,000 mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

  • Published:
A man talks on a mobile phone inside the BBC headquarters in London November 21, 2008. REUTERS/Andrew Winning play A man talks on a mobile phone inside the BBC headquarters in London November 21, 2008. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

European Union ambassadors criticised on Friday the suspension of the local BBC radio service in Rwanda over a row related to a BBC programme on the 1994 genocide, saying the suspension undermined free speech.

The service was suspended in October after a documentary by the broadcaster questioned official accounts of the genocide, in which 800,000 mostly Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

The state-run Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority said last Friday that the BBC broadcasts were indefinitely suspended. The case has been referred to the prosecutor general.

The BBC's "Rwanda: The Untold Story," which aired in October, included interviews with former aides to President Paul Kagame, a former rebel leader, accusing him of plotting to shoot down a plane carrying former President Juvenal Habyarimana.

The assassination of Habyarimana marked the start of the 100-day genocide. The documentary also suggested that Tutsi rebels, led by Kagame, committed war crimes.

Kagame called the documentary "cynicism of the highest order".

"We recognise the hurt caused in Rwanda by some parts of the BBC 2 documentary "Rwanda's Untold Story," European Union ambassadors in Kigali said in a statement.

"However, we regret the indefinite suspension of the BBC Kinyarwanda service on FM and on the internet in Rwanda, which affects media freedom and limits the space for expressing opinions. We expect legal due process to be followed in further steps," said the envoys, including those from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Britain, Belgium, Sweden and the EU mission.

"We expect legal due process to be followed in further steps," the statement said.

Rights groups have criticised Rwanda for clamping down on the media and stifling political dissent, a charge the government dismisses, saying it guarantees free speech.

Rwandan officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the EU statement.

The armed forces of Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front, led by Kagame, defeated government troops in 1994, stopping a three-month wave of bloodletting by ethnic Hutu extremists

Critics say Kagame, a Tutsi, has taken advantage of Western guilt over the genocide to increase persecution of opponents.

The Kinyarwanda programme, which many Rwandans used to listen for stories and debates that cannot run on local media, used run 30 minutes every day and two hours every Saturday.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233547385856, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Charlotte Osei EC chair to sue petitioners for defamationbullet
2 Major Mahama Mother receives master’s degree certificate on behalf of sonbullet
3 Job 600 Fire Ghana Fire Service suspects electrical faultbullet
4 Nana Akufo-Addo The milestones that have marked NPP's six months...bullet
5 In Accra Leader of fraud, car robbery gang grabbedbullet
6 Electoral Commission Workers petition Nana Addo to remove...bullet
7 Western Region Pastor arrested for duping over 4,000 people...bullet
8 Major Mahama's Death 19 suspects remanded in prison custodybullet
9 Volta Breakaway Case Court frees secession movement leadersbullet
10 Meet the Press I am not bothered by Kennedy Agyapong's...bullet

Top Videos

1 WATCH Kennedy Agyapong dances wildly to hip hop song in hilarious videobullet
2 Prophecy Hundreds will die in floods in 2017 – Prophet revealsbullet
3 Watch Adwoa Safo claims credit for Mahama's projectbullet
4 Capt. Mahama's Death The account of this 10-year-old will leave...bullet
5 Lynched Soldier Listen to the man who hit Capt. Mahama's head...bullet
6 Meet "The Beast" President Obama's Cadillac that's more tank...bullet
7 Video Four suspects arrested for Captain Mahama's deathbullet
8 Watch Stop taking collection in churches -TB Joshua to Pastorsbullet
9 Video Metro Mass bus catches fire on Cape Coast-Kasoa...bullet
10 Lynched Soldier Residents of Denkyira-Obuasi mourn...bullet

News