European Broadcasting Union suspends membership of Belarusian state-owned television and radio company – world
GENEVA, May 28. / TASS /. The board of directors of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organizes, among other things, the Eurovision Song Contest, has taken the decision to suspend the membership of Belteleradiocompany (BTRC), the national television and Belarusian state radio, the EBU said on Friday.
“In a meeting today, the EBU Executive Council agreed to suspend Belarusian member BTRC,” the document notes. The EBU specifies that “BTRC will have two weeks to respond, before the suspension takes effect.”
The EBU’s decision was motivated “by the broadcast of interviews [of detained Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega] apparently obtained under duress. “In view of these exceptional developments, the management board has no other alternative but to propose the suspension of the BTRC’s membership in the EBU,” the statement said.
In March, the organizers of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest blocked Belarus from participating because in their opinion the song submitted by the country did not comply with the contest rules.
On May 23, a Ryanair plane bound for Vilnius that took off from Athens made an emergency landing at Minsk International Airport after a bomb threat. A MiG-29 fighter jet alert crew was dispatched to escort the aircraft. After landing, the aircraft was inspected and no bombs were found inside. The Belarusian commission of inquiry has opened a criminal investigation into a false bomb threat. Among the passengers on the flight was Roman Protasevich, one of the co-founders of the Nexta Telegram channel, which Minsk recognizes as an extremist. Protasevich was arrested by law enforcement after the plane landed in the Belarusian capital. Russian national Sofia Sapega was also arrested. On Sunday evening, the plane left Minsk airport and continued towards Vilnius.