Inquiry Committee Welcomes Decision by RURA on BBC Genocide Denial Allegations

Today the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) handed down its decision on allegations brought to its attention regarding the documentary “Rwanda’s Untold Story”, which was aired by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on 1 October 2014. After considering the recommendations of the report prepared by the Inquiry Committee, the regulatory authority decided that:

1. The Kinyarwanda programme of the BBC in Rwanda is indefinitely suspended;
2. BBC continues airing other programmes subject to compliance with Rwandan laws, regulations and licensing requirements;
3. The identified offences be transmitted to the Prosecutor General for consideration and appropriate action.

Speaking on the decision, the Chairman of the Inquiry Committee, Martin Ngoga, said:

“The Inquiry Committee welcomes the decision by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority. We are pleased that the report prepared by the committee was useful in coming to a decision on the allegations of genocide denial and other offences by the BBC. The Inquiry Committee is ready to cooperate with any authority conducting further investigations and avail the research completed by the committee in producing its report.”

The full decision by RURA can be found below.

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RURA DECISION ON THE INQUIRY INTO THE DOCUMENTARY AIRED BY BBC: ‘RWANDA’S UNTOLD STORY’

We, the undersigned, being the Members of the Regulatory Board of RURA, convened an extraordinary board meeting on 29th May 2015;

In exercising the power conferred upon us by the Law N° 09/2013 of 1st March 2013 establishing Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and determining its mission, powers, organization and functioning especially in its Articles 2; 4,5°; 4,10°; 6 and 26 and in accordance with Article 4 of Law N° 02/2013 of 08/02/2013 regulating Media;

Considering that the licensing of BBC under the Agreement with the Government of Rwanda dated April 1, 2003, which has been the basis of broadcasting in Rwanda, is inconsistent with the Laws mentioned above;

Upon due consideration of the Report of the Inquiry Committee established to look into allegations brought to the attention of RURA on a documentary aired by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on the 1st October 2014 tilted “Rwanda’s Untold Story”;

Having examined the findings and found compelling evidence with respect to the allegations against the BBC;

The Regulatory Board concluded that in airing the documentary, the BBC abused press freedom and free speech, violated its own editorial guidelines, transgressed journalistic standards, and violated Rwandan law, with particular reference to genocide denial and revisionism, inciting hatred, and divisionism among Rwandans;

Considering the gravity of the above, the Regulatory Board unanimously decides that:

1. The Kinyarwanda programme of the BBC in Rwanda is indefinitely suspended;
2. BBC continues airing other programmes subject to compliance with Rwandan laws, regulations and licensing requirements;
3. The identified offences be transmitted to the Prosecutor General for consideration and appropriate action.

The Director General of RURA is authorised to perform the acts to implement this decision.

Signed by:

Coletha U. RUHAMYA, Chairperson

Eugene KAZIGE, Vice Chairperson

Judith MBABAZI, Member

Etienne NTAGWIRUMUGARA, Member

Fortune MUKANDOLI, Member

Liliane U. MUPENDE, Member

Patrick NYIRISHEMA Member, Secretary