A Bulgarian journalist claims he has been “banned” from attending Sunday’s Bafta Film Awards ceremony in London because he is a “security risk”.
Christo Grozev, who plays Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in a Bafta-nominated film, said he was “surprised” that he and his family had been barred from entering the country.
“Moments like this demonstrate the growing dangers to independent journalists worldwide,” Mr Grozev tweeted.
According to Bafta, safety is its top priority.
However, Navalny, not everyone associated with the film has been barred from attending the ceremony. Several producers have confirmed their attendance to the PA news agency.
Mr Grozev is the lead Russia investigator for Bellingcat, an investigative journalism organization, and is credited with uncovering the alleged plot to assassinate Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny with the nerve agent Novichok.
Mr Grozev is shown in the film uncovering details that point to the Kremlin’s involvement in the poisoning plot. Russia denies any involvement in the attack, which allegedly involved poisoning Mr Navalny’s underwear.
Mr Grozev claimed on Twitter that he had been “banned by British police” from attending the awards ceremony, despite the fact that the Metropolitan Police said they had no authority to do so and that it was up to the event organizers. It does, however, provide security advice to event organizers.
Mr Grozev stated that he and his son were not invited until he received a message from someone from CNN a few days ago. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that they had tickets to the event but that the invitation had been withdrawn on the advice of UK police.
The ban was based on “concerns about public safety and security,” he was told, but no further details were provided.