The blacklisting of the investigative media outlet Declassified UK by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been lifted, the journalists have learned today.
The ministry’s spokesperson said that the department "will deal with all outlets, including Declassified, with fairness and impartiality" in response to an enquiry to the MoD.
Earlier this week, the MoD apologised for not providing a comment to Phil Miller, a Declassified journalist, who was then covering a protest of British soldier against the war in Yemen. The publisher suspects that blacklisting by the MoD followed its reporting on Britain’s role in training senior spies from some of the world’s most repressive dictatorships on a UK military course.
- Censorship concerns rising as UK Ministry of Defence blacklists investigative media outlet
- British government apologises for blacklisting Declassified UK
The blacklisting of the investigative outlet prompted the Council of Europe to issue a Level 2 "media freedom alert" earlier this month. The UK has now formally replied, admitting that "the Ministry of Defence was wrong not to provide a comment to Mr Miller of Declassified UK on the story about which he was enquiring."
In addition to that, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced in parliament on Tuesday that he has ordered an "independent review" into Declassified’s blacklisting.
Mark Curtis, the editor of Declassified, said: "The Defence Secretary has obviously reprimanded MoD media officials for a wrong policy of refusing to engage with us. This is a very welcome step. Critical, independent journalism on UK government policies is more important than ever. We will continue investigating the deplorable UK role in the Yemen war and other policies that need the scrutiny that traditional media organisations are not providing."
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