Christo Grozev, a veteran Kremlin opponent and investigative journalist from Bulgaria, claims he has been prohibited from attending the British Bafta film awards ceremony. Grozev tweeted on Friday that he was “surprised” that the British police had refused to let him and his family attend the event on Sunday. He and his family are considered to be a “risk to public safety” by the police. Grozev participates in a documentary about Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny that has been nominated for the ceremony.
The fact that some journalists are subject to the hostile intentions of other states while in the UK is a reality that alarms us, according to British police. Officials declined to comment on the advice offered to him or anyone else’s safety. Although they could not forbid anyone from attending private events, they would have advised the directors of Britain’s most prominent film awards.
“Adequate and strong protections”
According to the Bafta organisers, the safety of the attendees and workers is a top issue. Every year, “robust and acceptable security safeguards” would be used.
For the London ceremony on Sunday, a documentary about Kremlin sceptic Navalny has been nominated. The movie features Grozev. He is doing research on Russia for the Bellingcat investigative website. The site looked at several things, including the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine and the poisoning of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal. Grozev assisted Navalny in the documentary as he investigated the poisoning of his person.
Recently, Russia labelled the Bellingcat platform a “threat” and categorised the group as “undesirable” on its soil. To the AFP news agency in September of last year, Grozev referred to Bellingcat as “the Kremlin’s greatest nightmare.” The most vocal opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin is Navalny. In Russia, he is currently completing a nine-year prison term for fraud. He has consistently refuted the charges.
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