Russia: Controversy over freedom of speech and security concerns

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The Eurovision Song Contest Steering Group has sent a warning letter to two Russian television channels due to other delegations’ security concerns.

The recent passing of laws in Russia against the distribution of information over homosexuality has raised unrest in some national delegations involved in the Eurovision Song Contest. This has been communicated to the Steering Group, which has taken action on the matter by sending a warning letter to the Russian broadcasters Channel One and Russia 1. The document includes four questions about artistic freedom, the safety of the participants and that of the fans of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The Steering Group consists of representatives of the national television networks which participate and broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest. The German representative in the Group, Thomas Schreiber, indicated that we have decided to take this step because of some large delegations massive security concerns.

The new Russian law prohibits propaganda of homosexuality like posters or open appearance. This is contrary to the values of the European Broadcasting Union. Accordingly, the Eurovision Song Contest should be a public space, in which all citizens can express their views freely.

Russia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 1994 with Vječnij stranjik, performed by Youddiph. Dima Bilan won the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Believe, bringing the show to Moscow the following year.

More news about Russia and the Eurovision Song Contest available in esctoday.com

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