The Director General of the European Broadcasting Union has responded to calls from the Belarusian Culture Solidarity Foundation for Belarus to be removed from Eurovision 2021.
Noel Curran the Director General of the European Broadcasting Union has responded to the call from the Belarusian Culture Solidarity Foundation for Belarus’ broadcaster BTRC to be removed from the 2021 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Responding to a letter sent at the beginning of January, the Director General outlines that the EBU is calling on BTRC to:
defend professional journalistic values and to ensure citizens have access to information that enables them to hear a plurality of views and form their own independent judgments
The letter goes on to state:
I would like to stress that the Eurovision Song Contest is a music competition with no political agenda. We consistently and vigorously resist attempts for this cultural event to be instrumentalised for political ends.
You can read the full letter from the EBU here. The CEO of the Belarusian Culture Solidarity Foundation, Siarhei Budkin has responded to the letter saying:
If the European Broadcasting Union is “independent from politics”, then how can it include an organisation that has repeatedly violated human rights and international law?
A social media hashtag #stopbt has been launched by the organisation demanding that BTRC is removed from this year’s contest. The demand also has the support of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of the Belarusian opposition. She stated last week that she will be lobbying European Union foreign ministers to have BTRC removed from the EBU.
Image Source: Mediasat | Source: Belarusian Culture Solidarity Foundation
Belarus debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 and has made it to the final on five occasions. Belarus’ best result in the contest came in 2007 when Dmitry Koldun finished 6th in the final with a total of 145 points. In total Belarus has qualified for the Eurovision final six times in sixteen attempts.