An investigative reporter who helped to reveal the plot to kill Russian dissident Alexei Navalny says he has been “banned” from attending this weekend’s BAFTAs.
Christo Grozev appears in the 2022 film Navalny, which is in the running for best documentary at Sunday’s awards ceremony.
It follows Mr Navalny – a longtime critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin – in the months after he was poisoned with nerve agent novichok in late 2020.
Grozev and Maria Pevchikh, head investigator for Mr Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, are filmed uncovering details that suggest Kremlin involvement in the assassination attempt – something the Kremlin has always denied.
In one scene, Mr Navalny, who has since been jailed in Russia, confronts one of his would-be assassins over the phone.
Grozev wrote on Twitter on Friday: “I was surprised to discover that my whole family and I have all been banned by the British police from attending this weekend’s BAFTA awards where the documentary Navalny is nominated.
“The reason states: we ‘represent a public security risk’.”
He added: “I understand the need to keep the public safe (although I don’t understand how my son or teenage daughter constitute 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 civilised world they are trying to serve.”
Grozev, who is the lead Russia investigator for news website Bellingcat, faces danger in a number of countries.
Just days ago, he told the Financial Times that Russian assassins were chasing him in his home base of Vienna, with the help of local collaborators.
In December, it was reported by CNN that he had been put on Russia’s “most wanted” list.
Alicia Kearns, chair of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, replied to Grozev’s tweets, saying: “I’ve raised (this) with ministers – you are not the security risk”.
A spokesperson for the BAFTAs told Sky News: “The safety of all our guests and staff at the ceremony is always our highest priority and we have robust and appropriate security arrangements in place every year.”
Four others involved in the documentary will attend on Sunday: producers Diane Becker, Shane Boris, Melanie Miller and Odessa Rae.
Sky News asked Met Police for comment and they directed us to a tweet they had written in response to Grozev, which said: “For obvious reasons, we don’t give details of security arrangements or advice on Twitter.
“We’re in ongoing contact with BAFTA.”