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As UN Sends Staff to Kyrgyzstan, Rights Report Author Still Banned

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 17 -- After the Kyrgyz Parliament voted to bar entry by Kimmo Kiljunen, the author of a report on the ethnic violence in that country, the UN on May 26 told Inner City Press that it wasn't their report, “that’s really a matter for the Kyrgyz authorities and Mr. Kiljunen.”

Meanwhile two UN staffers from the Policy and Mediation Unit of the UN Department of Political Affairs headed to Kyrgyzstan this weekend, Inner City Press has learned.

When Miroslav Jenca, special representative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for Central Asia, emerged after briefing the UN Security Council midday on Friday, Inner City Press asked him about Kyrgyzstan, Kiljunen and his report.

Standing with two aides, Jenca told Inner City Press that he has been pushing for “implementation” of the report's recommendations. He spoke about presidential elections, and said the UN Department of Political Affairs is involved in this as well, but will not be “too” involved.

So, not like in Cote d'Ivoire?” Inner City Press asked. Both of Jenca's aide laughed. Jenca himself said said there's discussion of allow Kiljunen in to have a dialogue with the Parliament -- but that has not happened yet.

After the violence in Kyrgyzstan, Ban action not shown

Nor, it seems, has Jenca or the UN done anything about the December 2009 murder in Altamy, Kazakhstan of Kygyz journalist Gennady Pavlyuk, who was thrown from a sixth story window with this legs and arms bound. The Kazakh police are now saying it was mere robbery. Where is the UN on this?

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As Kyrgyzstan Bans Kiljunen, UN Ban Has No Comment, Sri Lanka Report Echoes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 26 -- The UN's relationship with reports on ethnic violence and war crimes under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gets more and more convoluted.

 On Thursday, Kyrgyzstan's parliament voted to ban from the country Kimmo Kiljunen, the Finnish author of an independent report on last year's ethnic violence from entering the country, saying his findings were a threat to national security.

  Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky if Ban or the UN had any comment on Kiljunen being barred from entering Kyrgyzstan. Nesirky began by emphasizing that despite “logistic” support, Kiljunen's was not a UN report. He then said the report could be useful.

  If the UN thinks the report could be useful, Inner City Press asked, why no Ban Ki-moon reacting to its author being banned from the country?

  Nesirky said again, there would be no comment.

 To some, this is similar to Ban's reaction to date to the Sri Lanka war crimes report that, under pressure, he commissioned from a Panel of Experts. While a recommendation was that Ban initiate an investigative mechanism, Ban immediately said that he cannot or will not do this without a vote by the General Assembly, Security Council or Human Rights Council.

  It has been pointed out that the investigations are possible without such votes, for example in the case of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Mapping Report. Nesirky told Inner City Press he would respond to this comparison, but has not.

It emerged this week that Ban has not even transmitted the Sri Lanka report to the UN in Geneva.

Now, on another report -- albeit one further removed from the UN -- Ban has no comment on the report's author being banned from the country.

From the UN's May 26 transcript:

Inner City Press: on Kyrgyzstan, this Kimmo Kiljunen.

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: Kiljunen, Kiljunen, yeah.

Inner City Press: okay, however said, he is now being blocked from the country. The Parliament has voted to bar him because of his report on the violence that was in Kyrgyzstan. Given the UN’s role, you know, and stated… he said that the UN sort of supports his report. Is that true and do you have any comment?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, first of all, you know, let’s be clear that it was not a UN report. Some technical, logistical advice was provided to Mr. Kiljunen and those who put together the report. It’s an important step in the right direction. Again, talking about the need for accountability for actions that took place and crimes that were evidently committed last year in Kyrgyzstan.

Inner City Press: but does the UN, if you are thinking it’s a useful thing, what about this, the country now seeking to bar the author of the report. Is that --

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, that’s really a matter for the Kyrgyz authorities and Mr. Kiljunen. I don’t have any comment on that.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb .26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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