Palestinians blast Eurovision Song Contest's flag policy

AP News
Posted: May 01, 2016 4:11 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian leaders are blasting the Eurovision Song Contest for preventing their flag from being flown during the event this month.

Palestinian official Saeb Erekat voiced his dismay in a letter to Jean-Paul Philippot, the head of the European Broadcasting Union which oversees the yearly contest. In the letter, obtained by The Associated Press Sunday, Erekat says the decision is "totally biased and unacceptable." The Palestinians do not compete in the contest.

The EBU published a list of banned flags last week. Among them were the flags of Northern Cyprus, Kosovo, Spain's Basque region and the Islamic State group's flag.

In a Facebook post , the EBU apologized and said it removed the list of flags. An updated policy says flags of an "offensive, discriminatory, unsuitable, political or religious nature," are banned.