The Times Publishes List, Photos Of Journalists Working At Edinburgh-Based Sputnik Bureau


The Times Publishes List, Photos of Journalists Working at Edinburgh-Based Sputnik Bureau

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th December, 2018) The Times newspaper published on Sunday a list of journalists working at Sputnik's UK bureau in Edinburgh with their photos as well as an appeal of Alex Cole-Hamilton, a member of the Scottish parliament from Scottish Liberal Democrats, to deprive Sputnik internet radio station and RT broadcaster of their assets in the United Kingdom.

Cole-Hamilton, who is in charge of issues related to healthcare, has, in particular, accused Sputnik's UK bureau of being engaged in "information war" against the United Kingdom.

"Organisations such as Sputnik and RT pump out propaganda backed by Vladimir Putin [the Russian president] and have been complicit in the cover-up of events from human rights breaches to the Russian invasion of Crimea. Other countries have taken a tougher line on the assets of Russian nationals than we have in the UK. The UK government must look again at what can be done," Cole-Hamilton said as quoted by the media outlet.

The lawmaker called on the UK authorities to seize the assets of RT and Sputnik in the United Kingdom in order to prevent these media from operating in the country.

The newspaper also published photos of eight Sputnik's employees in Edinburgh and provided positions held by them.

The practice of publishing such lists of journalists was launched by Ukraine's Mirotvorets website that is known for revealing personal information of people who are considered to be "enemies of Ukraine," including Ukrainian and foreign journalists, who covered the military conflict in Donbas, public figures who visited Crimea and others. Following the publication of their personal data, some of these individuals faced personal threats.

Such actions have been widely criticized in Moscow and some other states. In early December, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) unanimously agreed on the document on protection of journalists during the 25th OSCE Ministerial Council in Milan. Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the document reflects concerns about the illegal interference with journalists' private lives that threatens their safety. Commenting on such interference in media workers' lives Zakharova referred to the Mirotvorets website, which had published personal details of journalists from a number of OSCE countries.

The Times also noted that there is a mounting suspicion in the United Kingdom that the Kremlin had sponsored a November cyber attack on the Institute for Statecraft (IFS), a government-funded think-tank set up to hold the information war against Russia.

On Friday, hackers released IFS documents containing eight complaints against the RT broadcaster that were submitted by a think-tank's employee to the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom).

On November 23, Anonymous hacking group released documents related to the think-tank's Integrity Initiative project, saying that the program, launched in 2015, was funded by the UK government. The hacktivist group described the program as a "large-scale information secret service" created by London to "counteract Russian propaganda."

Anonymous also claimed that the Integrity Initiative included covert structures to interfere in domestic affairs of several European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia, Spain, and Montenegro.