Decision to bar reporters from arms fair undermines UK government’s commitment to media freedom

Index on Censorship expresses concern over a decision to bar reporters from the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade fair at Excel London beginning 10 September.

“We are very concerned at the decision to refuse Ian Cobain and Solomon Hughes accreditation to next week’s DSEI arms fair. It is difficult to understand how and why the DSEI’s security team could have come to this decision and it raises serious questions about whether it was politically motivated, particularly given that it came hours after a UN report warned that the UK may have been complicit in Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

As a UK government-backed event, the DSEI’s decision undermines the government’s commitment to media freedom. Press freedom is essential to hold power to account and on the basis that we consider this a violation, we have filed an alert with the Council of Europe,” said Jessica Ní Mhainín, policy research and advocacy officer, Index on Censorship.

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