Commission wants BBC Sued, Kicked Out of Rwanda

A commission of inquiry instituted to investigate the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for denying the genocide against the Tutsi has recommended the agreement between Rwanda and the media house be terminated.

“There have been repeated breaches on the part of BBC, and they failed to uphold professional standards,” Martin Ngoga the Chairman of the commission told KTPress.

The commission, established on 3 November 2014 by the media regulator (RURA), also wants BBC sued.

In its recommendations from the report, the commission said, Rwanda should “initiate criminal and civil processes to deal with identified offenses.”

In order to operate in Rwanda, the BBC signed agreements with various government agencies. Commission found that the broadcaster had breached most of the provisions in agreements.

On 1 October 2014, a date Rwanda cerebrates the beginning of s struggle to stop the genocide, BBC2 aired the RwandaThe Untold Story documentary.

Two days later, the media regulatory struck BBC off the country’s airwaves following complaints from citizens accusing the radio against inciting hate, genocide denial and divisionism.

President Paul Kagame told parliament in October last year that BBC had chosen discredited people associated with genocide to talk about Rwanda. “This is the highest level of Sinicism,” he said.

The Ngoga commission has said, a law suit will thus “compel the BBC to disclose the information…surrounding the origin, purpose, and source of funding for the documentary.”

BBC maintains the documentary was a “valuable contribution to understanding of the tragic history of the country and the region.”

Meanwhile, after the commission’s report, BBC says “it is extremely disappointed by the findings.”

In fact, in its article in response to the report, BBC refused to recognize the Genocide was against the Tutsi. It says “those killed are generally believed to be …Tutsi.”

The documentary triggered anger in Rwanda with survivors saying was an attempt to revise the history and facts of the genocide, and disrespected the memory of victims.

Protestors infront of the Rwanda Parliament expressing their anger against BBC in November 2014
Protestors infront of the Rwanda Parliament expressing their anger against BBC in November 2014

Martin Ngoga, heads the commission together with the Dean of the Faculty of Journalism, Catholic Institute of Kabgayi, Christophe Mfizi, Dr. Christopher Kayumba, Senior Lecturer, School of Journalism and Communication, Rosine Urujeni, Rwanda Country Director, Indego Africa and Evode Uwizeyimana, Vice Chairman of Rwanda Law Reform Commission.

Based on the profiles of the members of the commission, the public has eagerly and jittery been waiting for their report.

Quizzed about the fear for the report advocating for muzzling of press freedom, Ngonga, the former Prosecutor General, said, “BBC is also subject to some limitations.”

This is a common practice, he said. “Besides, the UK’s regulator has also banned several media houses, such as the Russian Radio.” “Our recommendations are not locally defined, they are global,” he added.

This report comes out at a time when the entire Rwandan government is in a retreat to reflect on issues affecting the country. The report is heavily likely to be an item worth discussing about.

click to read report:http://rwandabbcinquiry.rw/




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