Russia is now granting ARD journalist Robert Kempe accreditation for the European championship
Shortly before the start of the tournament, Russia ARD journalist Robert Kempe refused accreditation. Kempe had previously reported critically about the 2018 World Cup. Now he got a license to play in St. Petersburg.
After criticism and protests, the ARD journalist Robert Kempe is now able to report on the European Football Championship from Russia, according to the WDR. As the broadcaster announced on Sunday, Kempe receives full accreditation for the tournament after Russia initially rejected it (the stern reported). He also got access to the Russian venue St. Petersburg. “This example shows how important it is to create publicity. We as the media have to be vigilant and emphatically name when our journalists cannot report freely,” explained WDR editor-in-chief Ellen Ehni.
According to the European Football Union UEFA, Kempe’s accreditation had already been valid for the other ten venues of the European Championship. Ehni had criticized the non-admission to St. Petersburg as an unacceptable restriction on the freedom of the press and asked Russia to provide clarification.
Kempe had reported critically about Russia
Three years ago, the ARD doping expert Hajo Seppelt was refused a visa to travel to Russia for the soccer World Cup. This decision was reversed by Russia – also under international pressure. After massive warnings from German security authorities, Seppelt canceled the trip. Seppelt had contributed significantly to the clarification of the systematic sports fraud in Russia and was therefore attacked there.
Kempe had also critically examined the World Cup in Russia and the work of the International Olympic Committee in documentaries in the past. He has been working for WDR and ARD for ten years. “Robert Kempe is an excellent and innocent journalist,” said the WDR editor-in-chief.
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