Rwanda urged to take criminal action over BBC genocide film
An inquiry in Rwanda has recommended that the government initiate criminal and civil proceedings against the BBC over a documentary which questioned official accounts of the 1994 genocide.
Inquiry head Martin Ngoga found that the documentary failed to meet the BBC’s own editorial standards.
The BBC says it is extremely disappointed by the findings.
Rwanda suspended broadcasts by the BBC’s Kinyarwanda language service after the TV documentary was aired.
At least 800,000 people died in the genocide over a 100-day period.
Those killed are generally believed to be mostly members of the minority ethnic Tutsi group, and Hutus opposed to the mass slaughter.
The BBC programme Rwanda, The Untold Story, included interviews with US-based researchers who say most of those killed may have been Hutus, killed by members of the then-rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which has been in power since 1994.
The programme also included interviews with former aides of RPF leader President Paul Kagame, accusing him of plotting to shoot down the presidential plane – the act seen as triggering the slaughter.
He has strenuously denied previous such accusations.
Critics in Rwanda say that the documentary was an attempt to revise the history and facts of the genocide, and disrespected the memory of those who had died.
The BBC has consistently denied that any part of the programme constitutes a “denial of the genocide against the Tutsi”. It has said that it will look closely at the implications of the inquiry recommendations.