Russia bans BBC reporter for denouncing ‘freedom of the press’

Russian state television has announced that BBC correspondent Sarah Rainford is expected to leave Russia at the request of the authorities, a move British Public Radio described on Friday as an “attack on press freedom”.

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Sans identifier de source, la chaîne de télévision Rossiïa 24 an expliqué jeudi soir que le visa de la journaliste britannique expirait le 31 août et qu’il ne serait pas renouvelé, une mesure présentée comme une des réné réponse les ponse suprésé posés in the UK.

The journalist commented on the Russian channel, saying: “He was expelled.”

Russian authorities continue to publicly criticize Western media content about Russia, regularly condemning articles or reports deemed anti-Russian. But expulsions of journalists are still rare.

“The expulsion of Sarah Rainford constitutes a direct assault on the freedom of the press, which we condemn without reservation,” the BBC said Friday evening in a statement.

We call on the Russian authorities to reverse their decision. In the meantime, we will continue to report events in the region in an independent and impartial manner,” the British group added, describing Sarah Rainford as an “exceptional and daring journalist.”

For her part, spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy Maria Zakharova confirmed the information half a word through the use of irony in a message posted on Telegram.

I wrote “don’t be shy”. “BBC representatives recently visited the Foreign Office, and everything was explained, so they could recount everything.”

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The spokeswoman also stressed that Russia had in the past, without effect, denounced “the insults inflicted by London on Russian correspondents in Great Britain with visas.”

On August 9, the Russian Foreign Ministry had already declared unidentified British nationals “involved in anti-Russian activities” persona non grata.

This measure was introduced as a response to the ban on entry of Russians into UK territory as part of British sanctions taken in 2020 and 2021.

This year, the Russian authorities have also increased legal action against Russian media, NGOs and political organizations considered hostile to the authority and accused of financing or serving the interests of the West.

Relations between London and Moscow have been particularly strained for years. The British accuse Moscow of using radioactive and chemical poisons to attack Russian opponents of Vladimir Putin who have taken refuge in the United Kingdom.

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