Index on Censorship condemns the decision by the UK Foreign Office to deny accreditation to Russia’s RT and Sputnik news agencies.
The BBC reported on Monday that RT and Sputnik had been banned from attending a major global conference on media freedom currently being held in London. The FCO said the news groups were not granted accreditation because of their “active role” in spreading disinformation.
Jodie Ginsberg, Index chief executive, called on the foreign office to reconsider its decision. “Cherry-picking only the media that one government considers acceptable is the precisely the kind of action we condemn from authoritarian states. If media organisations spread lies and misinformation it is the job of a vibrant, pluralistic and independent media to challenge and expose those lies, not the job of governments to stifle the news outlets it dislikes.”
“We are extremely concerned about the message this decision sends about the UK’s genuine commitment to a free and independent media worldwide.”
Index on Censorship is attending the Global Media Freedom conference, which takes place July 10-11. Index currently monitors media freedom in five countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, where it often calls out governments that block access to media representatives to control the narrative.
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