A journalist from Bulgaria claims he has been "banned" from the Bafta Film Awards ceremony in London this coming Sunday because he poses a "security risk.".
Christo Grozev, who appears in the Bafta-nominated movie about the assassination of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, expressed his "surprise" at being barred from the country with his family.
Moments like this highlight the increasing threats facing independent journalists worldwide, Mr. Grozev tweeted.
According to Bafta, safety is its top priority.
Not everyone connected to the movie, Navalny, has been denied entry to the ceremony, though. Several producers will attend, according to Bafta, which confirmed to PA News Agency.
For the investigative journalism organization Bellingcat, Mr. Grozev serves as the lead Russia investigator. He is credited with helping to uncover the alleged nerve agent Novichok plot to kill Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
In the movie, Mr. Grozev is seen looking into information that points to Kremlin involvement in the poisoning plot. Russia disputes any involvement in the assault, which involved allegedly poisoning Mr. Navalny's underwear.
Although the Metropolitan Police said they had no authority to do this and that the decision would be up to the event organizers, Mr. Grozev claimed on Twitter that he had been "banned by British police" from attending the awards ceremony. However, it does offer guidance to event planners on security-related issues.
Mr. Grozev claimed that he didn't learn that he and his son had been declined entry until he received a message from CNN a few days ago. He revealed to the Today program on BBC Radio 4 that they had tickets to the event but that the invitation had been revoked as a result of guidance from UK police.
He was informed that the ban was due to "concerns about public safety and security," but was not given any additional details regarding the risks.
However, Mr. Grozev continued, he has recently "received numerous alerts from various law enforcement agencies throughout Europe that there is credible evidence that my life is in danger.".
Threats made against British journalists by foreign governments are "a reality that we are absolutely concerned with," the Metropolitan Police stated in a statement.
It continued by acknowledging that its recommendations for security precautions might force event organizers to make difficult decisions about how to best reduce security-related risks.
The safety of its attendees and employees was a top priority, according to Bafta, which also stated that it had "robust and appropriate security arrangements in place every year," according to comments cited by PA news agency.