Belarus banned from Eurovision over song lyrics

  • 3 years   ago
Belarus has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song

Belarus has been disqualified from the Eurovision Song Contest for twice fielding songs deemed to have broken the rules of the competition.


The country was told to submit a new song two weeks ago over concerns their entry had a political subtext.


But the re-submission, by the same group, has now also been deemed inappropriate by contest organisers.


The band, Galasy ZMesta, is known for mocking anti-government protests.


Large-scale demonstrations took place across Belarus last year after Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in a disputed presidential election.


Why was Belarus's first song rejected?

I Will Teach You, a song by Galasy ZMesta, featured lyrics such as "I will teach you to toe the line", prompting a backlash from opposition figures.


Many worried that allowing such a song would legitimise Mr Lukashenko's violent suppression of protesters.


The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organisers of Eurovision, agreed the lyrics were inappropriate and ordered that Belarus re-submit their entry if they wanted to take part in May.

How did Eurovision organisers respond?

Belarus went back to the drawing board, but their re-submission has now also been rejected.


In a statement, the EBU said it had "carefully scrutinised the new entry to assess its eligibility to compete."


However, "it was concluded that the new submission was also in breach of the rules of the competition that ensure the Contest is not instrumentalised or brought into disrepute".


"Regrettably, Belarus will not be participating in the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in May," it added.


What has been happening in Belarus?

The disputed election in August led to a political crisis in Belarus.


The main opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, said she had attracted between 60 and 70% of the vote but was forced into exile in neighbouring Lithuania immediately after the vote.


Mr Lukashenko, who has ruled the country for 26 years, refused to resign.


The EU and the US government agree with the opposition that the August election was rigged.


Mr Lukashenko ignored repeated opposition calls for negotiations to re-run the election under free and fair conditions, to end police brutality and release political prisoners.


Thousands of demonstrators were arrested.

Source: BBC