Rwanda Media Commission ’S Position Regarding Mr. Gregg Schoof Press Statement

In reference to the allegations circulated by Mr. Gregg Schoof in his written press statement, RMC  wish  to inform the general public that all that is written is misleading and unfounded because all actions that were taken against the radio station due to a series of  violations of the code of ethics of media as detailed below.

On the 15th April 2014, the RMC Ethic Committee in its adjudication of a complaint filed against the radio program ‘Bibiliya na Qur’an’ aired on Amazing Grace Christian Radio decided that the talkshow is unethical and hence it should be stopped which the leadership of the radio station did not respect. A similar complaint was again filed on 17th December 2015 by the leadership of the Islamic religion in Rwanda against the talkshow ‘Bibiliya na Qur’an’ aired by Amazing Grace Christian Radio due to its spread of hate messages against the Islamic faith. The Ethics Committee in its adjudication of 28th March 2016 warned Amazing Grace Christian Radio to not conduct the radio program since it was being conducted in a controversial manner and antagonist in a way that it discredited the Islamic faith. They were advice to concentrate their   content on preaching the gospel of Christianity and avoid slanderous talks against Islam but overlooked this advice and decision of RMC.

On the 2nd December 2017, RMC monitored the program and identified some content issues especially in violation of the constitutional rights of ‘freedom of conscience and religion” as well as ethical principles of the media. He was advised of the possible consequence the program may cause such inciting anger that may even have a direct insecurity impact to the hosts of the talk show and the radio station its self but even then they could not consider the advice given. On 7th December 2017, RMC served the radio station with an order to immediately close down the talk show. 

On the 6th of February 2018 PRO-FEMMES Twese Hamwe and the Association of Rwandese Female Journalists (ARFEM) filed a complaint regarding the content that was aired on Amazing Grace Christian Radio on 29th January 2018 that was full of defamatory and disgracing content against women by a host who claimed to be a Pastor. The RMC Ethics Committee in a public hearing of 12th February 2018 noted that Mr. Schoof admitted that the reasons for the mistakes made were due to the fact that he didn’t have a programs manager who was supposed to ensure that all content is aired in accordance to the requirements of the code of ethics and standards of the media. Against this, the ethics committee decided to suspend his operations for three (3) months to rectify the existing gaps in his radio station, and the radio was also requested to apologize to the public especially women within 48 hours effective from the hearing date which he avoided willingly.

We therefore appeal to the public and all those who may wish to know the truth about all allegations made against RMC in his press statement to contact us for facts.

Cleophas Barore

Chairperson / RMC Board

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