European Broadcasting Union officially suspends state-run Belarus TV and Radio Company’s membership

On June 30, the Executive Board of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) officially suspended the membership of pro-Lukashenka Belarusian TV and Radio Company (BTRC) in the union, EBU’s press service told TUT.BY.

BTRC is not mentioned on the list of EBU members on its official website.

The Union took the corresponding decision in late May, but BTRC had two weeks to provide a response. According to the EBU, it has been closely monitoring the suppression of media freedom in Belarus and have consistently called on BTRC to uphold our core values of freedom of expression, independence and accountability. The press service said they were ‘particularly alarmed by the broadcast of interviews apparently obtained under duress’.

In late March, EBU disqualified pro-Lukashenka group Halasy ZMesta (Voices from Town) from the 2021 Eurovision due to violating the rules of the song contest.

The European Broadcasting Union is the world’s leading alliance of public service media (PSM). They have 115 member organisations in 56 countries and have an additional 31 associates in Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. Its members operate nearly 2,000 television, radio and online channels and services; they have an opportunity to exchange their video materials.

From July 1, BTRC will not have access to EBU services, which means means that the state-run Belarusian company loses the right to broadcast certain music and sports events.

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