Belarus criticizes Eurovision exclusion as “politically motivated”

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The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will take place from 18 to May 22nd in Rotterdam

The European Rundfunkunion (EBU) has also rejected the second song submitted by the Belarusian band Galasy ZMesta for the ESC. The head of the state television and radio company criticizes the decision, the band speaks of an “absolute disgrace”.

The exclusion of Belarus from the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May met with heavy criticism in Minsk. “The decision to exclude us is politically motivated,” said the head of the national state television and radio company of Belarus, Ivan Ejsmont, according to the state agency Belta on Saturday night.

Those responsible for the ESC were put under pressure by “politicians and haters in social networks”. Belarus had sent the band Galasy ZMesta into the race. It has now gone down in history, said Ejsmont.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced on Friday evening that the second song submitted by the group did not meet the ESC rules either. These should ensure “that competition is not instrumentalized or discredited”. The former Soviet republic will therefore not be admitted to this year’s ESC.

The first song had complaints because of the song With lines like “I’ll teach you to dance to the tune”, many people mocked the protest movement against long-term ruler Alexander Lukashenko. With the second song, the European Broadcasting Union only gave general reasons why it does not see it compatible with its own rules.

The band itself was horrified and spoke of an “absolute disgrace”. “ESC friends, it was a great pleasure for us to see this farce. We will continue our work “, it said in a message in which the ESC was also accused of double standards.

In the past year, there were mass protests against Lukashenko for months after the widely falsified current presidential election on August 9th. The head of state, criticized as the “last dictator in Europe”, was declared the winner again after 26 years in power with 80.1 percent of the vote. The EU no longer recognizes him as president. Tens of thousands of people were arrested. Many of them criticized massive police violence.

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