Russia’s RT and Sputnik news organisations had a global conference on media freedom in London but that was barred by Britain on Monday saying they have “active role in spreading disinformation”. The meeting is likely to be attended by some 60 ministers and 1000 journalists and members of civil society on Wednesday and Thursday, co-hosted with Canada.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said that “We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation.” 

“While it’s not possible to accommodate all requests for accreditation, journalists from across the world’s media are attending the conference, including from Russia,” he added. The decision relating to RT was condemned by the Russian embassy which considered it as “direct politically motivated discrimination”. Regarding this the embassy also complained to the Foreign Office.

In a statement, on Friday, it said RT had been told there was no space for its journalists at the conference. Meanwhile, RT said on Monday that “It takes a particular brand of hypocrisy to advocate for freedom of press while banning inconvenient voices and slandering alternative media.”

The statement London, that it approved the attack on a former Russian double agent in March last year, was denied by Moscow. Organizers of the London conference say it may increase international cooperation and discussion on the issue of media freedom, including fake news.

Amal Clooney, the International human rights lawyer will attend in her capacity as Britain’s special envoy on media freedom. The first meeting of an independent panel of experts will be held by her to look at how to make stronger national legislation to protect journalists. Officials said that North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela are the only countries not invited to the conference while the final guest list has yet to be published.

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