British Refuse To Accredit Russian Media for So-Called ‘Media Freedom’ Conference
July 10, 2019 (EIRNS)—British authorities refused to accredit Russian news agencies Sputnik and RT to the July 10-11 Global Conference for Media Freedom: London 2019. Where’s the media freedom?
The Russian Embassy in London denounced the denial of accreditation to TASS:
“This statement by the Foreign Office once again confirms our conclusion that the denial of accreditation was a politically motivated decision. As we pointed out earlier, we view it as an act of direct discrimination of Russian journalists. This decision looks particularly outrageous in a situation when RT and Sputnik work in the United Kingdom on legitimate grounds, under control of relevant regulatory bodies.
“When, despite the valid license, the decision to allow or not to allow a media outlet to this or that event (let alone, to a conference on media freedoms) is made by officials on the basis of their own political interpretation of disinformation, this can be described only as a censorship and a blatant interference of the executive power into the work of the media,”
the Embassy said.
The embassy demanded to reveal concrete facts that justify those accusations within the next 24 hours.
“Otherwise, this accusation itself will become a clear example of disinformation, which in this case comes hand in hand with slander and smearing of professional reputation,” the embassy said. “By the way, it turns out that the Foreign Office’s initial statement that RT was not allowed to participate because the quota has already been reached was an act of disinformation, too.”
“U.K.’s pretense to be a ‘global leader’ in the fight against disinformation looks particularly clumsy against this background. Those [claims] are made by the government of a country which uses disinformation as a basis for most important elements of its foreign policy: air strikes on Syria were based on unconfirmed claims of chemical weapons use; demolition of political relations with Russia—on baseless accusations of our country’s role in the Salisbury incident. Earlier, an act of aggression against Iraq was justified with false claims they possessed weapons of mass destruction and so on. In all this case and in many others, the U.K. media is becoming an instrument in the hands of the U.K. government,”
the Russian Embassy spokesperson said.
The Global Conference for Media Freedom is hosted by the British and Canadian Foreign Ministers Jeremy Hunt and Chrystia Freeland.
Conference participants were greeted by protesters demanding freedom for Julian Assange, reported Sputnik. Activists, some of whom taped their mouths with U.S. flags, unfurled banners reading: “Media Freedom. What about Julian Assange?,” “Free Assange. No U.S. Extradition,” “Facing 175 Years for Exposing War Crimes.”
In a related development, Britain refused a visa to a Russian Foreign Ministry representative, which the Russian embassy said “looks really weird,” in a statement today. “The U.K. side itself invited the Russian side to participate in the conference, accredited the Russian delegate, but then refused to issue him a visa....
“It is with great regret that we are watching the rhetoric on ‘Global Britain’ and ‘rules-based order’ lead to new violations of international law and generally accepted norms of diplomatic communication. The U.K. obviously prefers ... convening narrow conferences of like-minded participants over inclusive discussions with a diversity of opinions.”