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Syria Speech Cut Off on June 7 Was Ordered by UN's DuBach, ICP Learns, UN Stonewalls

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 10 -- When UN Television went dark just as Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari began speaking in the General Assembly on June 7, Inner City Press linked it to the total black out of Ja'afari in an early session on Syria held in the ECOSOC chamber.

  But UN spokespeople insisted to Inner City Press that it was just a "technical glitch." At the June 8 UN noon briefing, Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky called it a miscommunication.

  Sources in UN Television have provided further information to Inner City Press. They said it was no mis-communication, much less technical glitch: rather, they were ORDERED to effectuate the turn-off by the UN's Michele DuBach, Acting Deputy Director-News & Media Operations.

  And so Inner City Press wrote to Nesirky and his Associate Farhan Haq, as well as Ms. DuBach:

"I am writing for your comment on an exclusive story I am on deadline for, including that the call to turn off UN TV when Syria's Permanent Representative Ja'afari began speaking in the General Assembly on June 7 was made by the UN's Michele DuBach, Acting Deputy Director-News & Media Operations. If no response is received now, one can be added later. But if you can send something now, how ever brief, it will be included."

  While a UN corruption question Inner City Press submitted at the same time has yet to be answered, on this the spokesperson's office answered:

Subject: Your question on UNTV
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Date: Sun, Jun 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Regarding your question on UNTV's broadcast last Thursday, this is what the Spokesperson had to say about it on Friday, 8 June:

"I have a message from our colleagues in the News and Media Division. They very much regret and apologize for the brief disruption of the UN's broadcasting of the General Assembly meeting on Syria yesterday. This was due to a miscommunication within the division. Every effort is being made to prevent similar occurrences in the future."

  But Inner City Press was present at the June 8 noon briefing and heard that statement. It does not address the specific question -- what was the role of Michele DuBach, Acting Deputy Director-News & Media Operations in ordering the cut off?

  What is a "miscommunication," for the UN? If as the UN TV sources say, DuBach said turn it off and they did, there was no miscommunication. Did someone erroneously tell DuBach to issue such an order? Who? Watch this site.

Footnote: it's not just Syria - as Inner City Press also exclusively investigated, UN TV went dark when the Western Sahara representative of Polisario was speaking, due to a "miscommunication" by a Moroccan DPI official in charge....

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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