Belarus

Open letter: Nestlé must immediately stop funding state media in Belarus

ISHR, 01 July 2021

No other foreign company places as many commercials on Belarusian state television as Nestlé. Over 50 non-governmental organisations are therefore calling on the Swiss food company to immediately end its support for the Lukashenko regime’s TV propaganda.

In an Open Letter, more than 50 non-governmental organisations from 18 countries, amongst them the German section of ISHR (IGFM), address Nestlé Chairman Paul Bulcke and CEO Mark Schneider and call on the company to stop advertising on all Belarusian state-controlled media. The Open Letter was initiated by the German-Swiss human rights organisation Libereco.

In total, about 60 per cent of the commercials on Belarusian state television are placed by Western corporations from the EU, the USA and Switzerland – including brands such as Mars, Maggi, Schwarzkopf or L’Oréal. But no other Western company finances the Lukashenko regime’s state TV propaganda more than Nestlé – about one in three commercials there is placed by the Swiss company.

“We are shocked by the regular broadcasting of forced admissions of guilt by opponents of the regime and political prisoners on Belarusian state television. Most recently, the abused blogger Raman Pratasevich had to give a forced interview and a staged press conference. It is intolerable that Nestlé is broadcasting advertisements in the context of this appalling display of frightened and abused opponents of the regime. Nestlé – just like all other Western companies – must immediately stop advertising in Belarusian state media and must no longer be complicit in the crimes of the Lukashenko regime,” says Lars Bünger, President of Libereco, on the occasion of the publication of the Open Letter.

The text of the Open Letter with the list of all signatory organisations can be found on Liberico’s website.

Contacts for media enquiries:

Lars Bünger, President Libereco Switzerland: 0041 77 485 83 17 / lars.buenger@lphr.org

Jan-Henrik Wiebe, Press Officer Libereco Germany: 0049 163 734 39 65 / janhenrik.wiebe@lphr.org