The Rwandan parliament Wednesday voted to ban BBC from the country’s airwaves in retaliation for a controversial documentary which questions government’s figures of the 1994 genocide.
A documentary, BBC has maintained the documentary serves to understand a difficult subject and carries voices for and against the genocide.
MPs also approved a resolution asking government to charge the documentary-makers with genocide denial and revoke the BBC’s licence in the country.
The New Times newspaper quoted Senate president Bernard Makuza on Wednesday, saying: “We must stand and fight against these deniers. Among the decisions we should consider is taking legal action against the deniers, be it internally or externally.”
“We should as well consider revising the agreements Rwanda has with BBC. This is an open struggle that cannot be taken lightly and should be taken on by everyone collectively.”
Julienne Uwacu, another MP, was quoted saying Rwandans should “switch it off completely”.
Earlier in the week students had marched through Kigali demonstrating against BBC.
Similarly a letter signed by a group of 38 academics, writers, diplomats and politicians was emailed on October 12 to corporation’s director-general Tony Hall, accusing BBC of having been “recklessly irresponsible” to broadcast a film which indigently fuels genocide denial.
More than 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsis, according to the government, were killed in just 100 days in 1994.
The documentary included interviews with American-based researchers who said most of those killed may have been Hutus.
It also contained interviews with erstwhile Kagame allies including Brig Kayumba Nyamwasa, who accused him of being behind the shooting down of a presidential plane that sparked the genocide.
However, BBC continues to deny any part of the documentary constitutes a “denial of the genocide against the Tutsi”.
The BBC also said it had severally attempted to ask the Rwandan government to respond to the claims but in vain.