"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.

Download our mobile app today.

Android - Google Play Store

iPhone - Apple App Store

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Christmas Hamper Nana Addo rejects $500,000 from corporate organisationbullet
2 Asantehemaa's Death Funeral of Asantehemaa underway [Photos]bullet
3 Inauguration Day Nana Addo makes fun of plagiarism gaffebullet
4 Asantehemaa’s Funeral Nana Afia Kobi to be buried with gold ornamentsbullet
5 Asantehemaa's Death I'm homeless; Otumfuo Osei Tutu II pays...bullet
6 Ghana's Transition Mahama packs out of state bungalowbullet
7 Manhyia Palace One shot, several collapse at Asantehemaa’s...bullet
8 Nude Pictures Journalist arrested for blackmailing women...bullet
9 Refugee Ghanaian to lose fingers after 7-hour trek to...bullet
10 Francisca Oteng-Mensah 24 year old MP complains about...bullet

Top Videos

1 In Zimbabwe President Mugabe’s 70 year-old aide marries his 23-year-old...bullet
2 Refugee Ghanaian to lose fingers after 7-hour trek to cross US borderbullet
3 Woyome Judgement Debt Kweku Baako dances over Amidu's winbullet
4 Vitiligo Enam Honya - is challenging what you think about beautybullet
5 Obinim What happen'd when we fact checked Obinim's Bible knowledgebullet
6 Kwame Nkrumah Interchange Water leaks from hole in wall at new...bullet
7 Obinim saga We had sex only once - Obinim victims confessbullet
8 Video Taxi driver terrified after an encounter with a ghostbullet
9 Watch Kumchacha delivers Counselor Lutterodt from 'demons'bullet
10 Ashiaman This is what being a market queen is aboutbullet

News