The Belarussian media regulator said in a statement that it had removed Euronews from the list of international media which can operate in the country and announced it would be replaced by Russian programming.
The authorities said they did not renew Euronews' license, which expired today, because they did not comply with the law and ran advertisements in English, instead of Russian or Belarusian.
Euronews is a pan-European news channel broadcasting in thirteen languages.
“We deeply regret the decision which has been taken to suspend, as of 12th April, the broadcasting of Euronews in Belarus. We have not been notified of this decision nor of the reasons for it, and learned of it this morning through the press. Euronews is proud to be recognised, around the world, as an independent media outlet providing scrupulously factual and impartial news in Russian as well as in all its other language editions. For almost three decades, our mission has been to empower people to form their own opinions by offering a diversity of viewpoints. Euronews values freedom of the press and will do its utmost to ensure that its audiences in Belarus can very soon again have access, on television, to Euronews' hallmark impartial and quality journalism", Euronews told the IFJ and EFJ.
The decision comes amid increasing pressure from the authorities on media operating in Belarus, where dozens of journalists and media workers have been arrested while covering anti-government demonstrations.
In March 2021, leaders of 50 journalists’ unions and associations in 34 European countries called on their governments to intensify pressure and take action in the face of constant violations of human rights and press freedom in Belarus.
The IFJ and EFJ condemned the decision to ban Euronews from broadcasting in Belarus as a new attempt by the Belarussian government to curb press freedom and restrict the right of its citizens to freedom of information.