"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.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 GAF Ghana Armed Forces opens 2017/2018 recruitmentbullet
2 In Uganda Woman 37, has 38 childrenbullet
3 In Upper East Police woman commits suicidebullet
4 Illegal Mining I will pull down my pulpit and do galamsey if... - ...bullet
5 Galamsey Ghana's cocoa risks being banned on the international...bullet
6 National Security BNI storms Vanderpuije's home in search of...bullet
7 In Parliament Four Ghanaian MPs cited in alleged UK visa fraudbullet
8 EOCO Probes Stop the political noise, focus on your...bullet
9 Ghana's Parliament We will take action against visa...bullet
10 Visa Fraud MP begs for forgiveness over visa fraud...bullet

Top Videos

1 Watch Stop taking collection in churches -TB Joshua to Pastorsbullet
2 Nigerians stop deportation of chained compatriot in KLM flightbullet
3 In Zimbabwe President Mugabe’s 70 year-old aide marries his...bullet
4 TRAGEDY Fire guts Coconut Grove Hotelbullet
5 Meet "The Beast" President Obama's Cadillac that's more tank...bullet
6 Vitiligo Enam Honya - is challenging what you think about beautybullet
7 Woyome Judgement Debt Kweku Baako dances over Amidu's winbullet
8 Prophecy I predicted Kintampo accident - Prophetbullet
9 Ghana@60 Agya Koo embarrassed Ghana at Independence Day...bullet
10 Video Metro Mass bus catches fire on Cape Coast-Kasoa...bullet

News