European Broadcasting Union to suspend membership of state-run Belarus TV and Radio Company

Photo: TOBY MELVILLE / Reuters / Forum

At Friday’s meeting, the Executive Board of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) agreed to suspend the Belarusian TV and Radio Company’s membership in the union, the organisation says on its official website.

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.

“Since the disputed elections last summer, we have been campaigning for the protection of independent journalism and freedom of expression in the country. We have publicly supported journalists at BTRC who have been protesting against government interference. We have also been monitoring BTRC’s coverage and have communicated our concerns to their management.In recent weeks, we have been particularly alarmed by the broadcast of interviews apparently obtained under duress. We have also monitored other BTRC broadcasts on this issue which have raised other serious and quite exceptional concerns,” the statement reads.

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BTRC will have two weeks to provide a response before suspension comes into effect, the EBU adds.

In late March, the 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 content.

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