Belarus excluded from Eurovision due to political entry | News Europe
The European Broadcasting Union said the band representing the country had twice failed to submit an entry in accordance with the regulations.
Belarus was disqualified from participating in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after failing a second time to submit an entry in line with the non-political nature of the competition.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), organizer of the event due to take place in the Dutch city of Rotterdam in May, said the two songs by the group Galasy ZMesta had violated competition rules which ensure that the competition does not ‘is not instrumentalized or discredited’.
The EBU said the Belarusian state broadcaster has now missed the deadline for submitting a rule-compliant application and will therefore not participate.
Galasy ZMesta’s debut song Ja nauchu tebya (I’ll tell you that) was dismissed amid complaints whose lyrics mocked the mass protest movement against longtime Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
A new song was submitted after criticism, but it was also shot down by EBU officials.
Belarus criticized the move, saying organizers were under pressure “from politicians and haters on social media.”
“The decision to exclude us is politically motivated”, declared Saturday the head of the Belarusian national television channel, Ivan Ejsmont, quoted by the official news agency Belta.
Belarus has been in political turmoil since August after Lukashenko claimed a sixth presidential term in a vote that opposition and Western diplomats said was rigged.
The election results sparked mass street protests that were met with a violent crackdown that resulted in the detention of thousands of protesters, at least several deaths and hundreds of long prison sentences.
The European Union then imposed sanctions on Lukashenko and his allies.
Efforts are being made to ensure that as many artists as possible can perform live for Eurovision, which is due to have its final on May 22.
The glitzy annual music competition, which has millions of viewers across Europe and as far away as Australia, has already been postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.