Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rwanda Suspends BBC Radio Service

By THE NEW YORK TIMES
April 25, 2009

KIGALI, Rwanda — The Rwandan government on Saturday suspended the British Broadcasting Corporation’s local-language radio service in the country saying it threatened the country’s national reconciliation.

According to a news release from information minister Louise Mushikiwabo, the closing was because BBC’s Kinyarwanda service had broadcast “unacceptable speech” on the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

“The divisive and disparaging nature of these programs — as they stand today — is no longer acceptable, in light of the hard-earned peaceful coexistence of the people of Rwanda over the last 15 years,” the statement read.

At least 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed in the 1994 genocide. The country has since banned the use of ethnic labels and established strict but vague laws against divisionism.

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