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China Abuses Religious Freedom Emboldened By Silence of UN Guterres Censoring His Bribery Links

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NYP

UNITED NATIONS GATE, June 21 – China along side its human rights abuses has a history of paying bribes through businessmen in the United Nations, now covered up by UNSG Antonio Guterres who is willing to rough up and censor the Press in order to try to conceal his own financial links to CEFC China Energy.

 Now on June 21 the religious freedom report just released says, on China, that "the government detained at least 800,000 and up to possibly more than 2 million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other Muslim groups, mostly Chinese citizens, in specially built or converted detention facilities in Xinjiang and subjected them to forced disappearance, torture, physical abuse, and prolonged detention without trial because of their religion and ethnicity.  There were reports of deaths among detainees.  Authorities maintained extensive and invasive security and surveillance, particularly in Xinjiang, in part to gain information regarding individuals’ religious adherence and practices.  The government continued to cite concerns over the “three evils” of “ethnic separatism, religious extremism, and violent terrorism” as grounds to enact and enforce restrictions on religious practices of Muslims in Xinjiang.  Authorities in Xinjiang punished schoolchildren, university students, and their family members for praying.  They barred youths from participating in religious activities, including fasting during Ramadan.  The government sought the forcible repatriation of Uighur Muslims from foreign countries and detained some of those who returned.  Religious groups reported deaths in or shortly after detentions, disappearances, and arrests and stated authorities tortured Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, and members of Falun Gong.  The Church of Almighty God reported authorities subjected hundreds of their members to “torture or forced indoctrination.”  Although authorities continued to block information about the number of self-immolations of Tibetan Buddhists, including Buddhist monks, there were reportedly four self-immolations during the year.  The government began enforcing revised regulations in February that govern the activities of religious groups and their members.  Religious leaders and groups stated these regulations increased restrictions on their ability to practice their religions, including a new requirement for religious group members to seek approval to travel abroad and a prohibition on “accepting domination by external forces.”  Christian church leaders stated the government increased monitoring even before the new regulations came into effect, causing many churches to cease their normal activities.  Authorities continued to arrest Christians and enforce more limitations on their activities, including requiring Christian churches to install surveillance cameras to enable daily police monitoring, and compelling members of house churches and other Christians to sign documents renouncing their Christian faith and church membership.  An ongoing campaign of church closings continued during the year, and authorities removed crosses and other Christian symbols from churches, with Henan Province a particular focus area of such activity.  In September the Holy See reached a provisional agreement with the government that reportedly would resolve a decades-long dispute concerning the authority to appoint bishops.  Uighur Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists reported severe societal discrimination in employment, housing, and business opportunities.  In Xinjiang, tension between Uighur Muslims and Han Chinese continued.  The Vice President, Secretary of State, Ambassador, and other embassy and consulates general representatives repeatedly and publicly expressed concerns about abuses of religious freedom.  On July 26, the Vice President said, “Religious persecution is growing in both scope and scale in the world’s most populous country, the People’s Republic of China…Together with other religious minorities, Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians are often under attack.”  On September 21, the Secretary said, “Hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions of Uighurs are held against their will in so-called re-education camps, where they’re forced to endure severe political indoctrination and other awful abuses.  Their religious beliefs are decimated.  And we’re concerned too about the intense new government crackdown on Christians in China, which includes heinous actions like closing churches, burning Bibles, and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith.”  A statement from the July 24-26 U.S. Government-hosted Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom said, “Many members of religious minority groups in China – including Uighurs, Hui, and Kazakh Muslims; Tibetan Buddhists; Catholics; Protestants; and Falun Gong – face severe repression and discrimination because of their beliefs.  These communities consistently report incidents, in which the authorities allegedly torture, physically abuse, arbitrarily arrest, detain, sentence to prison, or harass adherents of both registered and unregistered religious groups for activities related to their religious beliefs and peaceful practices.  Authorities also restrict travel and interfere with the selection, education, and veneration of religious leaders for many religious groups….”

  How untransparent and inaccessible is Antonio Guterres, as UN Secretary General? Mirroring others, he cultivates a fawning media and punishes and bans critical press. A year ago Inner City Press from inside the UN covered his failure to hold a press conference in five months, while he planned to "raise a glass" with correspondents who never criticized him. (In fact, China has a veto on this group's board, here.)

 Soon after, on 22 June 2018, Guterres had his Security led by Lt Ronald E. Dobbins physically push Inner City Press out of the UN, video here, a precursor to worse.

  Now, with Inner City Press banned by Guterres from any entry of the UN for 351 days, the UN Correspondents Association has celebrated him in the UN General Assembly lobby, where he bloviated about press freedom while himself censoring.

  This came two days after Uighur groups called Guterres shameful - but UNCA celebrated him.

  This came the same day as Rohingya groups said Guterres should resign for failure and collusion. But UNCA celebrated him.

  In fact, UNCA sells him, raising money off him at Cipriani in a total conflict of interest: the UN Censorship Alliance.

This as Guterres, while covering up his links to UN briber CEFC China Energy, doesn't even live up to his spokesman Stephane Dujarric's statement that there would be a UN statement after Guterres' "counter-terrorism" envoy's bluewashing trip to Xinjiang where China mass jails Uighurs.

With Guterres and his spokesman refusing to answer Press questions, now Inner City Press has in writing asked them to respond to this: "Dolkun Isa, president of theWorld Uyghur Congress, called the Xinjiang visit by Voronkov “an irrevocable mistake on the part of General Secretary Guterres.”  “It is truly shameful for the UN that its Under Secretary for Counterterrorism Vladimir Voronkov visited East Turkestan and China at a time anywhere from one to three million Uyghurs have been locked up in Chinese concentration camps for more than two years,” he told RFA on Monday.  “This official visit, approved by the UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres, allows China to link its crimes against humanity in East Turkestan as a necessary counterterrorism measure."

Those who frolic on the North Lawn with Guterres are complicit.A notice leaked by disgusted but complicity UN correspondents:

"The United Nations Correspondents Association has the pleasure to invite you to the launch of the 2019 UNCA Directory.   We are delighted to announce that the annual reception will once again be held outdoors on the North Lawn facing the East River.  Regional food, wine, cocktails, beer and more will be served!   SAVE THE DATE Wednesday, June 19th 6:00 - 8:30 pm North Lawn, UNHQ   Opening Remarks by UN Secretary-General António Guterres 6:30 pm   Come and receive your copy of the new UNCA Directory!!   Please RSVP by FRIDAY, June 14th to   The event is open to all UN correspondents *You must hold a valid UN ID to attend the event     See you on the 19th!"

 We'll have more on this. For now, Part III of III of the outmoded and absurd hard copy Directory for dictator lovers of the  UN Censorship Alliance:

MILLER, Bill Global Connections  Television;  Washington International Moderator of GCTV  & Columnist at WI    Mailing Address: 111 Shelby Street, Frankfort, KY, 40601 Tel/Mobile: (502) 418-0029 Email:

MIYAMOTO, Haruyo  Fukada Tokyo Broadcasting  System TV Correspondent Office: 524 West 57th St. #4350 New York, NY 10019 - MODARESS, Susan Independent Journalist  (TV & Print) Office: United Nations  Room S-0421- MULA, Halil RTV21– Kosovo  National TV  Office: United Nations  Room S-3112B - MULVONI, Donatella Freelance Office: United Nations  Room S-422- NADER, Samar Elnashra Newspaper Writer and Producer Office: United Nations Room S-3112A- NAJAFZADEH, Kamran I.R.I.B.  Correspondent Office: United Nations Room S-0403 -NAJJAR, Yassein Almadar News LLC Tel: (201) 863-6060 -  NAZLOYAN, Anna NAZZAL, Khawla Emirates News Agency WAM;  Office: United Nations Room S-342B -54 - NGUYEN, J. Tuyet German Press  Agency/DPA,  Hamburg (NA) Office: United Nations  Room S-319  -   NICHOLS, Michelle  Emily Reuters (NA) Office: United Nations  Room S-321 - NOAIN, Idoya El Periodico (D) Office: United Nations  Room S-330C -- NYAKU, John African Business Network  Communications Office: United Nations  Room S-0332 -  OAKFORD, Samuel The New Humanitarian Office:  United Nations  Room S-03112C -  OSHIMA, YUMIKO Nikkei Correspondent Office: 1325 Avenue of the Americas  Suite 2700 New York, NY 10019-  PAK, Cia SCANNEWS (NA) Office: United Nations  Room S-331 -  PANAGOS, Dimitrios  Greek American News  Photos (NA) Athens News Agency-   PANAYIOTOU,  Panayiotis Phileleftheros (Cyprus) Office: United Nations  Room S-333  -PANCHERI, Giovanna Sky TG 24 US & UN Correspondent Office: 12th Avenue of the Americas  New York, NY 10036 -   PANDHI, Vijay The Himachal Times (D) Chief Editor & Freelance Office- PATTERSON, Daniel  CNET and CBS News  Contributor Senior Producer Office: 28 East 28th Street New York, NY 10016 -   PAVIA, Will The Times of London (D) Office: United Nations  Room S-346A - PELIT, Asli Voice of America, Turkish Correspondent Office: United Nations  Room S-309 -   PFAEFFLE, Walter Austria Presse Agentur (APA), Vienna; (WEB) Office: United Nations  Room S-0307 Other: 340 E 64th St. #16G New York, NY 10065 -   PINNER, Kevin Sankei Shimbun  Reporter Office: 150 East 52nd Street, 34th Floor New York, NY 10022

PIOLI, Giampaolo Quotidiano Nazionale,  Italy (D),  La Nazione, Italy( D),  Il Resto del Carlino (D),  Il Giorno (D), (I) Office: United Nations  Room S-422A-2 -   PITIGALA KANKANAMGE,  Adeesha Independent Television Networks LTD-   PLESEA, Gabriel Freelance Reporter (Romanian Media) Address: 85-30 60th  Road #2 Middle Village, NY 11379 -    PONTECORBOLI,  Gianna Lettera 22 (NA) Office: United Nations  Room S-420C New York, NY 10017 Other: 531 Main St.,  Roosevelt Island, NY 10044 -PRICE, Amanda Ruth Al-Jazeera English Senior Producer Office: United Nations  Room S-0322 - RAMPELOTTO, Luiz Europa Newswire Office: United Nations Room S-303B-   RAMPINI, Federico La Repubblica UN Bureau Chief Office: United Nations  Room S-406 - RATER, Philippe Dominique Agence France-Press (AFP) UN Correspondent Office: United Nations  Room S-316 -  RATNER, Ellen Talk Media News  (R/NA) President Office: United Nations  Room S-422A - REILLY, William Xinhua News Agency (NA) Special Correspondent Office: United Nations  Room S-313 - REINL, James Independent journalist with Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye and others -   RICHTER, Cristelle ARD German Television Producer Office: United Nations  Room S-406B - RIVERA, Marisela  Yomiuri Shimbun Office: United Nations Room S-0418 -     

ROBECCO, Valeria ANSA News Agency (NA) Office: United Nations  Room S-305   RODRIGUEZ,  Carmen-Maria Radio Marti US Office of Cuba  -  ROTH, Richard CNN (TV) Office: United Nations  Room S-402 - SABET, Sadegh SCANNEWS (NA) Office: United Nations  Room S-331-SAINT-MARTIN,  Emmanuel France 24 (TV) Office: United Nations Room S-0341- SALA DE TORRESSOLANOT, Maria Del Carmen France 24 Spanish US Correspondent Office: 20 Pine Street #919 New York, NY 10005 -SALOOMEY, Kristen Al Jazeera English (TV) Office: United Nations  Room S-322 -   SARCINA, GIUSEPPE Corriere Della Sera Correspondent Office: 2600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20037 - SATO, Fumitaka NHK—Japan Public  Broadcasting Senior Correspondent Office: 1177 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10036 -

SCHLESINGER, Stephen  Freelance Address: 500 West 111th Street, #4A New York, NY 10025 -   SEMPRINI, Francesco La Stampa (D) Office: United Nations  Room S-348B -SHANG, Xuqian Xinhua News Agency Office: United Nations Room S-0313- SHIN, Yong Il The Korea Times;  The Hankook Ilbo Office: United Nations Room S-0332D  -   SHINJO, Soichi Fuji Television Network News Office: 150 East 52nd Street, 34th Floor New York, NY 10022 -    SINGH, Yoshita  Press Trust of India (NW) Chief Correspondent Office: United Nations  Room S-0335C-    SOFI, Horacio Freelance -   STEA, Carla Global Research (I) Office: United Nations  Room S-330 -    SUMI, Toshiyuki Mainichi New York Bureau Chief Office: 420 Lexington Ave, Suite 2546 New York, NY 10170 - TAN, Liling Feature Story News Correspondent Office: United Nations  Room S-0340 -    TAWFIK, Nada BBC (TV) UN/NY Reporter Office: United Nations  Room S-412 -TSITSAS, Athanasios Antenna TV (Greece);  Real News & Radio -   UCCIARDO, Frank TRT World UN Correspondent Office: United Nations Room S-302-  UETSUKA, Mayu Sankei Shimbun New York Bureau Chief Office: 150 East 52nd Street, 34th Fl. New York, NY 10022 - VACCARA, Stefano  La Voce di New York (I);  Radio Radicale (R), Rome Editor in Chief Office: United Nations  Room S-0301 -VARGAS, Luke  Nathaniel Talk MediaNews Chief Foreign  Correspondent Office: United Nations  Room S-422A-VILLAR SANJURJO,  Mario EFE News Agency Office: 25 West 43rd Street, Room 1114 New York, NY 10036 - VYAS, Rohit TV Asia News Director Office: 76 National Rd,  Edison, NJ 08817  - WACHTEL, Jonathan News Media Consultant -   WAINER, DAVID Bloomberg LP Journalist Office: United Nations Room S-0315 -    WANG, Jiangang Xinhua News Agency Office: United Nations Room S-313 -  WESCHLER, Joanna Security Council Report Deputy Executive Director Office: 711 Third Avenue  Suite 1501 New York, NY  10017 -WHITE, LENKA Mainichi Newspaper UN Correspondent Office: United Nations Room S-0418 -  WILLIAMS, Ian Tribune, weekly,  London UK; Office: United Nations  Room S-317B  WURST, James LGMA-TV -  XIE, E Xinhua News Agency Correspondent Office: United Nations  Room S-0313  -  XU, Xiaolei Xinhua News Agency Correspondent Office: United Nations Room S-313 -  YAMAGUCHI, Genji Kyodo News Office: 780 Third Avenue, Suite 1101 New York, NY 10017 -   YANG, Chun China Central Television  Chief Correspondent,  NY Bureau Office: United Nations  Room S-417 - YANG, Jun People’s Daily of China Office: 415 East 37th Street, #17K New York, NY 10016-       YOSHIDA, Kaori Nikkei Office: United Nations  Room S-0418-   YURUK, Betul Anadolu News Agency Reporter Office: United Nations  Room S-423 -ZAMPAGLIONE, Arturo OnuItalia; La Repubblica Editor, Special  Correspondent Office: United Nations Room S-406 -    ZEHIL, Sylviane L’Orient Le Jour (D) NY & UN Bureau Chief Office: United Nations  Room S-419A New York, NY 10017 Other: 5 East 22nd Street,   Suite 25C New York, NY 10010 -  
ZOUPANIOTIS,  Apostolos  Cyprus News Agency (NA); Cyprus Broadcasting  Corporation (TV); Kathimerini Cyprus;   Greek News Office: United Nations  Room S-333 -

 ZHU, Xili China Central Television (CCTV) Office: United Nations Room S-417- ZHU, Jing Economic Daily UN Bureau Chief Office: United Nations  Room S-334 

Also the "Executive Committee" / politburo:

Valeria Robecco, ANSA News Agency Room: S-305 Mobile: (973) 413-0864 Email:  Executive Officers: Melissa Kent, CBC/Radio-Canada - UNCA First Vice President 2019 FIRST VICE PRESIDENT Melissa Kent, CBC/Radio-Canada Room: S-342 Phone: (212) 546-0510 Mobile: (646) 238-5876 Email:  Jianguo Ma, Xinhua News Agency - UNCA Second Vice President 2019 SECOND VICE PRESIDENT Jianguo Ma, Xinhua News Agency Room: S-313 Phone: (917) 868-3210 Email:  Luke Vargas, Talk Media News - UNCA Third Vice President 2019 THIRD VICE PRESIDENT Luke Vargas, Talk Media News Room: S-422A Phone: (212) 918-1995 Email:  Carole Landry, Agence France Presse - UNCA Treasurer 2016-2019 TREASURER Carole Landry, Agence France Presse (AFP) Room: S-316 Phone: (212) 759-8183 Mobile: (917) 832-5415 Email:  Seana Magee, Kyodo News - UNCA Secretary 2014-2019 SECRETARY Seana Magee, Kyodo News Room: S-304 Phone: (212) 508-5475 Mobile: (347) 512-5506 Email:  Members at Large: Nabil Abi Saab, Al Hurra TV - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2018-2019 Nabil Abi Saab, Al Hurra TV Room: S-416A Phone: (212) 308-2317 Mobile: (202) 413-4666 Email:  Erol Avdovic - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2017-2019 Erol Avdovic, Webpublicapress Room: S-345 Phone: (646) 875-5121 Email:  Oscar Bolanos, OMB News - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2018-2019 Oscar Bolanos, OMB News Phone: (202) 629-5100 Email:  Sherwin Bryce-Pease, SABC South Africa - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2019 Sherwin Bryce-Pease, SABC South Africa Room: S-415 Phone: (917) 703-4470 Email:  Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2017-2019 Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal Room: S-338A... Widad Franco, NHK Japan Broadcasting - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2017-2019 Widad Franco, NHK Japan Broadcasting Room: S-414  Maria Khrenova, TASS News Agency - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2019 Maria Khrenova, TASS News Agency Room: S-04CR1  Edith Lederer, Associated Press - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2019 Edith Lederer, Associated Press Room: S-320
Betul Yuruk, Anadolu Agency - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2019 Betul Yuruk, Anadolu Agency Room: S-423
Giampaolo Pioli, Quotidiano Nazionale - Member at Large, UN Correspondents Association Executive Team 2017-2019 Giampaolo Pioli, Quotidiano Nazionale Room: S-422 Phone: (212) 371-1099 Mobile: (917) 287-3969 Email: 

From a year ago:

The last time Guterres held a press conference at UN headquarters was more than five months ago, on January 16.  On that day, Inner City Press asked Guterres why he had not acted on the killings by the Cameroon government and had not even started an audit of the China Energy Fund Committee UN bribery case in which CEFC's UN representative Patrick Ho was and is jailed. Since then, still no audit and no action on Cameroon.

   Now after five months Guterres will on June 26 finally hold a second press conference. But on the same day, he is also the guest of honor of the UN Correspondents Association: “This year marks UNCA's 70th anniversary, celebrating seven decades of journalism committed to reporting on the UN and its many causes and objectives [1!]" The Free UN Coalition for Access questions the propriety of this focus on the UN's "causes" rather than simply covering the UN as it is. But FUNCA has timely sent this: "This is a timely response to your statement that 'The event is open to all UN correspondents, Please RSVP by FRIDAY, June 22nd to Opening Remarks byUN Secretary-General António Guterres, 6:00 pm (LOCATION TBC).' A UN correspondent, by choice not a member of UNCA, is hereby timely requesting to be informed where SG Antonio Guterres will be making remarks, and to cover it. Please confirm receipt and provide response. On deadline, thank you in advance." Now what? Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric has continued to restrict the Press that asks him the most questions, in favor of a no-show Egyptian state media whose correspondent Sanaa Youssef is a former president of UNCA and who hasn't asked the UN a question in more than a decade. Now Dujarric has teamed up with three UNCA members to try to claim that covering his privatization of the UN Press Briefing Room is somehow inappropriately aggressive. This is censorship. We'll have more on this.


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