The Creators of the Movie "Navalny" dedicated their BAFTA Award to Christo Grozev
The creators of the documentary "Navalny" dedicated their BAFTA award to Bulgarian investigative journalist Christo Grozev, who announced before the ceremony that he and his family were not allowed to the event because they were a "security threat", PI media/DPA reported.
At the ceremony, producer Odessa Rae said: "We want to dedicate this award to Christo Grozev, our Bulgarian nerd". "I met Christo in the summer of 2020. He gave his all to tell this and many other stories that need to be told," Rae added. Grozev reacted with a post on Twitter: "Wow!"
The Bellingcat group of investigative journalists specializes in fact-checking using available intelligence and social media. On Friday, Christo Grozev wrote on Twitter that he was "surprised" to be "removed" from the ceremony after being told he "represented a risk to public security".
According to him, this shows "the growing dangers to independent journalism around the world, which come not only from bloody dictators, but also from silenced journalistic voices". In the film, Grozev explains how he and fellow investigative journalist Maria Pevchikh uncovered details of the plot to poison Navalny, which is believed to have originated in Russia.
Police in London said law enforcement generally did not deal with banning individuals from events and that was entirely the responsibility of the organizers, adding that they could not comment on an individual's safety or advise them, but there is still a "fear of hostile intent from another country" on British territory.
The police statement also said it was working with intelligence partners to identify these hostile intentions and to take steps to ensure the safety of those at risk. “Despite the efforts and policy of security and investigations, we have identified a potential threat to the lives of many people due to the intentions of a hostile state. We have used all our resources to protect these people,” the statement added.
"We recognize that our board has presented the organizers with a difficult choice and the need to do their best to avoid a security risk at the event and we are grateful for BAFTA's commitment."
Ahead of the awards ceremony, BAFTA announced that the safety of all guests and staff has always been a top priority and strict measures are taken to ensure this every year.
Alicia Kearns, a Conservative MP and chair of the foreign policy committee, tweeted that Grozev was not a security risk.
In a statement after the ceremony, Russian investigative journalist Maria Pevchikh appealed to the Kremlin to release Navalny and all other political prisoners, as well as to stop the war immediately.
"Before Navalny was jailed, I promised him that I would spend the time he was in jail climbing peaks, shouting his name to make sure people don't forget what he did for my country. I think that tonight is a high enough peak for me to mention his name from the stage. It is a great honor and privilege to be reminded that while we are at this remarkable event, many people are spending their days in prison because the corrupt KGB man decided to conquer a great country," said the investigative journalist.
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