In Burundi, the National Communication Council (CNC) suspended for six months the programs of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Voice of America (VOA). The regulator accuses them of not respecting the laws and media ethics of the country.
The ban, which came into effect on May 7, was explained by Karenga Ramadhan (photo), TNC Chair. “We sanctioned the BBC for not taking into consideration the warning we sent them on March 16, asking them to seriously consider the balance between information and source verification,” says Karenga. Ramadhan.
In fact, the BBC broadcast a few days ago an interview in which “the interviewee and the presenter talked about sensitive issues on the country, which also involved the reputation of the head of state” . During the interview, a Brussels-based activist made several allegations against President Pierre Nkurunziza. His Government alleged, inter alia, that the BBC had not asked the intervener to provide evidence of these accusations.
VOA, meanwhile, was suspended for associating with local media that was closed in 2015, but also for hiring a journalist with an arrest warrant.
The BBC reportedly tried to contact the Burundian authorities, without success. The government then reportedly referred the media to the spokesman for the judiciary, who said the matter was the responsibility of the Presidency.