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May 25-31, 2015

Media Monitoring Report for Rwanda
Posted on June 3, 2015

Compiled by Berta Fürstová

Report content

  1. Another opposition party backs lifting of presidential term limits
  2. BBC broadcasting in Kinyarwanda indefinitely suspended

1. Another opposition party backs lifting of presidential term limits
Private but pro-government newspapers

 ‘PSD backs lifting of term limits” by Elias Hakizimana. New Times, 25th May 2015

  • The Social Democratic Party of Rwanda (PSD) issued a statement calling for a review of the constitution to allow President Paul Kagame to run for another term.
  • Dr. Vincent Biruta, PSD president who is also the minister for natural resources, said their view is that the question of term limits should be left to citizens to decide. However, he added: ,,Amending the constitution does not deny us our right to contest for the country’s leadership. We’ve resolved to present our candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.”
  • Dr. Biruta also suggested the need for broader constitutional review process before calling for a referendum to see whether there are other articles of the constitution that may need amendment. The party is proposing five-year mandate for president without term limits, and increase of women threshold in leadership positions to 50 per cent from current 30 per cent.

2. BBC broadcasting in Kinyarwanda indefinitely suspended
Private but pro-government newspapers

‘BBC-Kinyarwanda indefinitely suspended” by Edwin Musoni. New Times, 30th May 2015

  • Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) announced an indefinite suspension of BBC Kinyarwanda service over a controversial documentary aired by the broadcaster in October last year. The documentary, titled Rwanda’s Untold Story, was considered to be an attempt to distort facts about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
  • An independent commission of inquiry, headed by former Prosecutor-General Martin Ngoga, recommended termination of BBC services in the country. “Having examined the findings and found compelling evidence with respect to the allegations against BBC, the regulatory board concluded that the airing of the documentary constituted abuse of press freedom and free speech, violated its own editorial guidelines, transgressed journalistic standards and violated Rwandan laws with particular reference to Genocide denial and revisionism, inciting hatred and divisionism among Rwandans,” RURA director-general Patrick Nyirishema said
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