Rwanda switches off BBC over documentary denying genocide

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Women protesting in Kigali on Friday

Women protesting in Kigali on Friday

Rwanda has effectively this Friday, banned the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Kinyarwanda language radio service transmitted on frequency 93.3FM.

Rwanda’s Utility Regularity Agency says it struck BBC off the country’s airwaves following complaints from citizens accusing the radio against inciting hate, genocide denial and divisionism.

The statement read in part; “RURA has Over the last three weeks received complaints of incitement, hatred, divisionism, genocide denial and revision following the ‘Rwanda-The Untold Story’ documentary aired by BBC on October 1, 2014 and other violations of journalistic responsibility spanning a number of years.”

Two weeks after the controversial documentary, President Paul Kagame told parliament that BBC had chosen discredited people to talk about Rwanda saying, “This is the highest level of Sinicism”.

“All people discredited for very obvious reasons on the true narrative of Rwandan Story are the ones BBC has selected to tell the story that should be believed about all of us. BBC has changed us into Killers. This is the publicity BBC is making,” President Kagamethen said.

Kagame warned that People who praise extremists and people associated with genocide twisting it as they wish won’t do anything for Rwanda.

Since then, protestors including youth and women have been marching on the streets and outside the parliament and BBC offices in Remera demanding formal apologies and denouncing the unprofessionalism exhibited by the BBC.

On October 22, parliament passed a resolution urging government to ban the BBC and bring “genocide denial” charges against the presenter and producer of a controversial TV documentary about the 1994 genocide against Tutsi that claimed a million lives.

In 2009, government of Rwanda ordered for the suspension of BBC’s Kinyarwanda service for broadcasting ‘unacceptable speech’ on genocide against Tutsi.

BBC began broadcasting to the great lakes region in 1994 both in Kinyarwanda and Kirundi languages spoken by over 42 million people spread across the region.


About the author

Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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