British legislator vows to call probe into BBC documentary

Kate Green, a British Member of Parliament (MP), yesterday, told her Rwandan counterparts that she would convey to the UK House of Commons, the feeling Rwandans have towards the BBC's controversial documentary "Rwanda's untold story".

Kate Green, a British Member of Parliament (MP), yesterday, told her Rwandan counterparts that she would convey to the UK House of Commons, the feeling Rwandans have towards the BBC’s controversial documentary “Rwanda’s untold story”.

Green was speaking at Parliament yesterday after her meeting with different MPs from three standing committees.

They included the Committee on National Budget and Patrimony, Committee on Unity, Human Rights and fight against Genocide, and Committee on Social Affairs.

“I am aware of the feeling, the pain this documentary vested upon Rwandans,” she said.

“I will convey that depth of feeling to my colleagues in the UK parliament, especially to the committee responsible for Culture, Media and Sports,” Green said.

Green, 54, a British Labour Party politician, has been a legislator since 2010.

She is currently a Shadow Spokesperson for Disabled People in the UK, and has also served as a magistrate for 16 years.

“BBC is an independent media, free from government influence but that committee will be keen to know the views of Rwandans,” Green explained.

“I hope the UK parliament will pursue some of the concerns Rwandans are raising,” she added
On October 1, BBC’s channel 2 aired a revisionist film about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that has since come under criticism by a cross-section of people from Rwanda and beyond.

The one-hour programme is said to have distorted the reality about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The film, which carries interviews with a group of known opponents of Rwandan government and fugitives, has provoked protests from Genocide survivors and demonstrations around the world, as well as at the BBC headquarters in London.

The documentary gave platform to two controversial American academics, Allan Stam and Christian Davenport, who alleged that only 200,000 Tutsi died in the Genocide and not over 1 million as it is widely known.

Constance Rwaka Mukayuhi, chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony, said the documentary completely undermines Rwanda’s efforts toward unity and reconciliation while denying the Genocide against the Tutsi.

“Genocide denial is a crime against humanity. The BBC documentary is a total Genocide denial report. We ask the UK parliament to investigate the matter and ask BBC to apologise to Rwandans, especially Genocide survivors, widows and orphans,” Mukayuhi said.

Mukayuhi’s comments were echoed by MP Francesca Tengera, who said the BBC documentary minimised death (Genocide in Rwanda) to the level of debate, something that undermined the validity of losing a life.

“Death, whatever the case should not be debatable. It really hurts to see such a big media organisation undermining the Genocide against the Tutsi to a matter of debate, yet it was among those that reported about it in 1994. That is inhuman,” Tengera said.

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