Russia’s RT and Sputnik Networks were the only two media organisations to be banned from the Media Freedom Conference taking place in London this week because of their “active role in spreading disinformation” according to British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The global conference was organised by the British and Canadian foreign ministers.
RT was censored last year by UK’s regulator OFCOM over its handling of the Skripal affair for “breaking British impartiality rules” seven times during a six week period.
Euronews presenter Belle Donati spoke to Afshin Rattansi, presenter of the RT show called Going Underground who claimed RT was banned from the conference because it was “a completely politicised charade,” adding that there was no press freedom in the UK.
He said the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Index on Censorship condemned the decision to ban RT.
Euronews called the Committee to Protect Journalists and they denied condemning this decision.
Rattansi defended the Kremlin-funded channel by stating that RT was “trying to present an alternative view from our bureau in London and bureaus around the world” but that “NATO nations do not like when it comes to journalism that threatens their view of the world.”
He denied that RT promoted any alternative narratives and said the channel was “absolutely dedicated to presenting the information that NATO nation governments and their allied media wish not to get through to their populations.”
“The point is that in NATO states there is a concerted attempt at curbing free speech and claiming that they are better than other countries.”
He also noted that no one from the Russian government tells him what to say and not to say on his show in RT.