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UN's Ban Meets Burundi Minister Who Excused Killings, AI Then Toasts Scribes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 14 -- When you go to the UN's 38th floor these days, you might meet a government official who justified the killing of unarmed civilians, having a photo op with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

 So it was on April 14, when Burundi's Minister of the Interior Edouard Nduwimana held a meeting with Ban, his chief of staff and Department of Political Affairs officials. Inner City Press went to the photo op and tweeted out a photo.

 Moments later Inner City Press was made aware that Nduwimana in March 2013 visited the Businde hill where police had just killed nine people, mostly women and child. On video - YouTube here, from Minute 1:41 - Nduwimana told the mourners and survivors, Now you have the martyrs you wanted.

  Eighty minutes before Ban's meeting with Nduwimana, he met with Amnesty International. Unlike some other rights groups who crave access, Amnesty authorized Inner City Press, when it asked, to report that the topics covered were "the Human Rights Up Front Initiative, regarding which several country situations were discussed, and the Post-2015 agenda." It is appreciated.

  While Inner City Press was asked if having a "criminal" in the UN is rare, the reality is that, for example, Sri Lanka's Shavendra Silva, named in Ban's own report on war crimes in that country, was allowed to become a UN Senior Adviser on Peacekeeping Operations, run by Herve Ladsous.

 Later on April 14, a mere 95 minutes later to be exact, Ban was to raise a champagne or Prosecco toast to the UN Censorship Alliance, which hosts Shavendra Silva's and Palitha Kohona's screening of their government's war crimes denial film, "Lies Agreed To."

  The then and now president of UNCA had been Kohona's landlord in the past. When Inner City Press in writing called this a conflict of interest, first the move was to try to get Inner City Press thown out of UNCA -- it quit and co-founded the new Free UN Coalition for Access, FUNCA -- then out of the UN as a whole. This is today's UN, and its Censorship Alliance.


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