Belarus withdrawal from Eurovision 2021

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Since July 20, 1994 the Republic of Belarus is ruled by dictator Alexander Lukashenko. On August 9, 2020 he held another presidential election whose results have apparently been falsified. The independent election observation platform „Golos“ documented irregularities in every third polling station. The people of Belarus began to protest and demanded the holding of new elections. Lukashenko responded to these requirements by declaring: “We held elections already. Until you kill me, there will be no other elections”. The protesters have faced violent persecution by the authorities. A statement by the United Nations Human Rights Office on 1 September cited more than 450 documented cases of torture and ill-treatment of detainees. The experts also received reports of violence against women and children, including sexual abuse and rape with rubber batons. Several protesters have been killed since the beginning of the protests and the violence is going on. Among the protesters were also the members of the band VAL which was planned to represent Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest in this year. Because of their civic position, Belarus Public Television announced that VAL will not be allowed to represent its country at the next ESC. Instead of that, Belarus Public Television decided to nominate the band „Galasy ZMesta“ which openly backs the violent crackdown of peaceful protests in Belarus. They took part in rallies in support of Lukashenko and mocked representatives of the democracy movement. In an interview its singer Dmitri Butakov responded to the criticism of his support for the violence, by declaring: „This is my opinion. I express it, as I do. Do I have the right to do so? Whoever doesn't like it - go fuck off. Listen to other songs. And we just sing our own". Galasy ZMesta is going to perform at Eurovision Song Contest with a song which has obviously a political subtext: "I will teach you to dance to the tune, I will teach you to peck the bait, I will teach you to walk along the line. You will be happy with everything, happy with everything." Do not allow this humiliation of the tortured and killed people of Belarus!

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