Ambassadors of the European Union and EU Member States today paid a courtesy call on the Chairman and Commissioners of the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC). The Ambassadors made a number of press remarks after the meeting:
“We welcomed the chance to meet the new board of RMC after its elections a month ago, and to understand better its priorities in promoting a free, responsible and accountable media, in defending its journalist members, in maintaining its independence as a self-regulatory body, and in media monitoring during elections.
We discussed with RMC the government’s commitment made in Geneva under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) last year to ‘Continue strengthening legislation to eliminate all provisions that undermine freedom of expression’, and shared with RMC some impressions from the EU-organised seminar in Kigali in December 2016 on freedom of expression and media transformation. Participants at the seminar spoke strongly on the need for a better flow of information, the need to improve the quality of journalism, the need to combat ‘fake news’, and that a diverse and quality media made for a healthy, informed society.
We raised the matter of police investigations of a number of journalists in the last few weeks. RMC clarified that its mandate was limited to cases of transgression of ethics in journalism. It had succeeded in resolving nearly all complaints brought by the public against journalists.
The RMC has an ambitious programme, has received support from EU countries, and we encouraged the RMC Commissioners in holding to their mandate on promoting and protecting press freedom.”
Distributed by APO on behalf of EU Delegation to Rwanda.