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Grozev says he and his family were banned from attending BAFTA awards

17.02.2023, 15:42
Photo: Belsat
Photo: Belsat

The head of Bellingcat, Christo Grozev, says that the British police banned him and his family from attending the BAFTA awards on February 19 in London. He reported this on Twitter on February 17.

"I was surprised to discover that my whole family and I have all been banned by British police from attending this weekend's BAFTA awards where the documentary 'Navalny' is nominated. The reason stated: we 'represent a public security risk,'" Grozev wrote.

He noted that he understood the need to keep the public safe, although he did not understand "how my son or teenage daughter constitute risk to the public."

"But moments like this show the growing dangers to independent journalists around the world. These dangers don't stem just from murderous dictators, but also from having journalists' voices hushed – instead of amplified – by the civilized world they are trying to serve," Grozev said.

As IMI reported, in early February 2023, investigative journalist, head of Bellingcat investigative group Christo Grozev had to leave Austria, where he had lived for almost 20 years, due to a possible threat from the Russian security services.

On December 26, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs placed Grozev on the federal wanted list.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria responded by summoning the Russian ambassador, Eleonora Mitrofanova, to Sofia.

In July 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice added Bellingcat to the list of undesirable organizations. Undesirable organizations are prohibited from operating on the territory of Russia or they might face administrative and criminal liability. Cooperation with such organizations is also grounds for criminal prosecution. In addition, Roskomnadzor can demand that mass media remove publications that cite content by undesirable organizations.

Christo Grozev is an investigative journalist and head of the Bellingcat project.

Bellingcat publishes investigations which often have to do with special services, famous politicians, and financiers. The group claims that it only uses open source intelligence in its work.

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