Navalny documentary wins BAFTA after security row

During the British BAFTA film awards on Sunday, a movie on Russian rebel Alexei Navalny won best documentary, sparking outrage at the absence of a significant participant.

Christo Grozev, a longtime Kremlin opponent and investigative journalist from Bulgaria, tweeted “wow” after the announcement in London and said he had been “barred” from attending in person.

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Producer of the documentary Odessa Rae paid tribute to Grozev even though she was unable to attend the glamorous event because of “a public security risk.”

She informed the audience that “he gave up everything to tell this tale, and other stories that need to be shared.”

The investigative website Bellingcat’s main Russia investigator Grozev, who is credited with helping to uncover a plan to murder Navalny, has an appearance in the documentary.

However, he tweeted on Friday that he was “surprised to hear that my entire family and I have all been prohibited by British police from attending this weekend’s BAFTA awards.”

Just that “certain journalists face the hostile intents of foreign powers while in the UK,” according to London’s Metropolitan police. According to BAFTA, employee and visitor safety is a top priority.

Grozev had been “disinvited” from the BAFTAs, “Navalny” director Daniel Roher told AFP at the Directors Guild of America awards in Beverly Hills on Saturday.

“The Russians are trying to kill him,” said Roher. “He’s not allowed to go to Europe any more. It’s dramatically changed his life, changed his family’s life.”

The Canadian director continued, calling the choice to keep Grozev away “cowardly” and “profoundly upsetting.”

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