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UN Bachelet Mused Here On Audio of Slapping Or Naming As Fascist A Swiss Diplomat Then Barred Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive CJR PFT

UNITED NATIONS, December 18 – When UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her Deputy Andrew Gilmour set to speak in the UN on human rights day on December 10, Inner City Press responded to an invitation and was told, "Please come to the UN Visitors’ Gate on First Avenue opposite 45th street starting at 2pm, at which time entry passes will be distributed."

Then, past six p.m. on Friday, December 7 this from Bachelet's and Gilmour's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: "Dear Matthew, We have received notification from UN Security that your name was flagged as "BARRED" on the list we submitted for passes for Monday's event (3pm, ECOSOC Chamber). We will therefore not have a pass for you and are unable to facilitate entry.
Thank you for your interest and best regards,
OHCHR New York Office."

 Inner City Press, surprised that the UN's supposed office of Human Rights would simply accept the barring of a journalist, asked Bachelet and her assistant to explain. Amid silence, there came to Inner City Press an invitation to another UN Human Rights office event on December 18 featuring Ms. Rebeca Gyumi – activist for the rights of women and girls (Tanzania)
Ms. Asma Jahangir (posthumously, represented by Ms. Munizae Jahangir) – human rights lawyer (Pakistan)
Ms. Joênia Wapichana (Joênia Batista de Carvalho) – activist for the rights of indigenous peoples (Brazil)
Front Line Defenders (represented by Mr. Andrew Anderson) – an organization advocating and working for the protection of human rights defenders (Ireland). Inner City Press RSVPed, was emailed to come, went again - and was told by a staffer that, while no "don't come" email was sent this time, the Office had not even asked UN Security why the Press could not attend its Now more than a week later, with no explanation from Bachelet or her staff about the barring of the Press or their acquiescence, multiple sources in OHCHR tell and show Inner City Press, with audio, that on December 13 Bachelet said of a Swiss diplomat opposed to the UN Global Compact on Migration, "I was thinking do I slap her? Do I tell her you are a fascist?"
Before noon on December 17 Inner City Press in writing asked Guterres and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, "December 18-2: On the (Office of the) High Commissioner for Human Rights, what is the SG's comment and action on complaints that the Commissioner mused to staff about slapping or calling a fascist a Swiss diplomat in Geneva?" There was no answer to this or any other Inner City Press question, including on Cameroon and Sri Lanka, in the four hours that followed. Now having received the audio from multiple OHCHR staffers in New York, we are publishing it here on SoundCloud, here on Patreon.

   Even diplomats in Geneva, who have so far put up with censorship of the Press by Guterres and now Bachelet, are expressing concern. It is said the diplomat Bachelet was musing of slapping or calling a fascist is Sabrina Dallafior, Swiss Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva. But does it matter which diplomat Bachelet was referring to? In UN Headquarters in New York, Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric before having Inner City Press roughed up and banned now 167 days, summoned it in demanding an explanation of a tweet that referred to a German assistant in French controlled UN Peacekeeping with the hashtag #WW2. But Guterres' High Commissioner for Human Rights can link a current host country diplomat to fascism? We'll have more on this - and on this:

 On December 7 Inner City Press immediately wrote back, to the sender and Bachelet and her assistant, to Andrew Gilmour and to the moderator of the event, "Particularly since you are the UN Office of the High Commissioner for *Human Rights,* did you not ask why a journalist who asks the Secretary General and his spokesmen about the killings in Cameroon, Burundi, UN corruption, UN peacekeepers' sexual abuse of civilians, and Sri Lanka, is “BARRED” from attending your human rights event - without any hearing or appeal? I will appreciate your Office's answer to this."  We'll have more on this.

 Bachelet gave a speech on October 15 in the UN's Third Committee, she emphasized a prioritization of social and economic rights and said one of the officials of her office is "on mission in Silicon Valley" in the US. There are questions about this - but Inner City Press which has covered human rights and the UN for more than a decade was for the first time banned from access a High Commissioner's speech. This has been raised repeated to Bachelet since she took office but she has so far done nothing, not even responded. Meanwhile on October 12 Cameroon, from whose Paul Biya Secretary General Antonio Guterres took a golden statue and favors in the Fifth (Budget) Committee and remains silent on the slaughter of Anglophones, was elected to a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. This system is failing - but if Bachelet cannot even answer on Guterres maintaining a secret banned list including not only Inner City Press but also "political activists," then the UN has hit a new low.

   Inner City Press was never given a hearing by Smale before her August 17 letter with withdrew Inner City Press media accreditation. Nothing in it said anything about a ban from entering the UN as a person, a tourist, or in another other way. But this is what happened, without any recourse. Pure Kafka-esque censorship, by a former New York Times Berlin bureau chief to hinder coverage of the corruption of the former Portuguese prime minster Antonio Guterres, see September 23 New York Post here. What next? Watch this site.


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