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Pro-UN Posters Allowed But Dissent To Be Torn Down, Banning Free Speech as Trend

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 18 -- The UN's lack of respect for free speech is not a static fact: it is becoming worse.

  Earlier this year, just after the formation of the Free UN Coalition for Access was announced on fliers that the UN and members of its UN Censorship Alliance or UNCA repeatedly tore down, the UN e-mailed out a compromise.

  Isabelle Broyer of the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit wrote on January 28, 2013, "As a follow-up to last week information about flyers, members of the press have several ways to communicate with their colleagues, if they would like to share information... paste it onto your own office door."

  But now the same Isabelle Broyer is ordering the removal even of a simple Free UN Coalition Access sign from Inner City Press' office door -- while saying that two UNCA signs can remain up.

  Click here to view the Free UN Coalition for Access sign on Inner City Press' office door, photo by FUNCA member Luiz Rampelotto:

(c) Luiz Rampelotto

Click here to view the UNCA signs, in front of a large space custom-built and given free to the United Nations Correspondents Association for private events they don't even inform non-UNCA members of.

Inner City Press, Creative Commons

  Meanwhile, an UNCA executive committee member given a private office next to Inner City Press' shared office has pro-UN propaganda festooned on his door. Photo here.

Inner City Press, Creative Commons

  That is not coming down. The UN targets specific messages, and seeks to ban one dissenting group while propping up another.

  This is true not only of signs. Broyer's supervisor Stephane Dujarric, formerly the spokesperson for the UN Development Program's Helen Clark and before that Kofi Annan, has not only tried to tell Inner City Press how to cover Ban Ki-moon.

   This year, he asked that Inner City Press call him "urgently" about a single tweet which mentioned World War Two, the UN's founding event.

  (It was the victors or not losers in World War Two which got Permanent seats and veto power on the UN Security Council, which France converted under Kofi Annan into ownership of the top job in UN Peacekeeping, now held by Herve Ladsous, mentioned in the tweet, the fourth Frenchman in a row to run DPKO.)

  Meanwhile when an UNCA Executive Committee member tweets for example that Syria's Assad is like Hitler, no call from Dujarric. Likewise that he should end like Gaddafi.

  Dujarric is only endeavoring to micro-manage some correspondents. He likes UNCA and its (Gulf and Western) leadership; he tries to ban the new Free UN Coalition for Access for them, and for others in the UN. We will have more on this. Watch this site.

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