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British police ban Bellingcat investigator Christo Grozev from BAFTA ceremony despite Navalny documentary nomination

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British police have banned investigative journalist Christo Grozev from attending the BAFTA awarding ceremony, even though the Navalny documentary, in which he is featured prominently, was nominated for the award.

“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’. I understand the need to keep the public safe (although I don't understand how my son or teenage daughter constitute a 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 wrote.

The documentary was screened for the first time on January 26, 2022, at the Sundance Independent Film Festival in Salt Lake City.

The documentary is largely a step-by-step account of Navalny's poisoning, which took place in the summer of 2020, through to the politician's detention at a Moscow airport in January 2021.

On December 14, 2020, The Insider, Bellingcat, and the Anti-Corruption Foundation published an investigation naming FSB officers complicit in Alexei Navalny’s poisoning with Novichok nerve agent, which the OPCW classifies as a chemical weapon.

The investigators also released the accidental confession of Konstantin Kudryavtsev, one of Navalny’s poisoners who spoke to his victim thinking it was the aide of Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council and gave a detailed account of the assassination attempt. In particular, he explained that Navalny had survived the poison thanks to the pilots’ actions and the atropine injection given to him by the paramedics and specified that the poison had been applied to the politician’s underpants and that traffic police had helped the FSB to cover up their tracks.

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