RT’s ban from media freedom conference shows British irony is alive and well
UK refused RT and &# 171; Satellite&# 187; attending a conference on freedom of the media
London explained it to them &# 171; take an active role in spreading disinformation&# 187;
British authorities said they had denied Russian media RT and Sputnik an international conference on media freedom in London due to their “active role in spreading disinformation.”.
About 60 ministers and thousands of journalists and civil society representatives are expected to attend the conference, which will take place on July 10-11 and is organized jointly with Canada..
“We have not accredited RT and Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation,” said a British Foreign Office spokeswoman. “Although it is impossible to satisfy all applications for accreditation, the conference will be attended by journalists from all over the world, including from Russia.”.
The Russian Embassy in London had previously condemned the RT decision as “direct discrimination against a Russian TV channel for political reasons,” and said it had filed a complaint with the Foreign Office..
The embassy’s statement, released on Friday, said the reason was the exhaustion of the quota on the number of journalists attending the conference..
Following the Foreign Office comment on Monday, RT broadcaster released a statement that said, “It takes special hypocrisy to advocate for press freedom by banning uncomfortable voices and spreading defamation to alternative media.”.
In December, British media regulator Ofcom concluded that RT had violated impartiality rules in several programs that aired after a nerve agent attack in Salisbury, England..
Moscow denies accusations of London that it approved of the attack on the former Russian double agent last March.
The organizers of the London conference said it is intended to intensify international discussion and cooperation on media freedom issues, including in connection with fake news.
International Human Rights Lawyer Amal Clooney to Attend Conference as UK Special Envoy for Freedom of the Media.
She will host the first meeting of an international group of experts that will consider strengthening national legislation to protect journalists.
The final guest list has yet to be released, but officials said the only countries that did not receive an invitation to the conference were North Korea, Syria and Venezuela..
Ahead of the conference, the UK pledged £ 18 million to fight disinformation in Eastern Europe and strengthen independent media in the Western Balkans.
This amount is part of a £ 100 million five-year commitment for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.