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UNCA Said Document Internal, But Reuters Charbonneau Gave to UN's Dujarric 3 Minutes Later

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 24 -- Each time the UN has threatened Inner City Press' accreditation, amid complaints by or rulemaking with its UN Censorship Alliance, the UN Department of Public Information has claimed that it and UNCA are entirely separate.

  That's supposedly what renders legitimate the rules under which the UN on June 24 threatened to suspend or withdraw Inner City Press' accreditation: the rules were negotiated at arms' length with UNCA.

  But today Inner City Press has published an ostensibly internal UNCA document that UNCA first vice president Louis Charbonneau e-mailed on June 14 at 2:46 pm to UN DPI official Stephane Dujarric at his private email account steph [at], saying “you didn't get this from me.”

  The document, which said on its face that it was only for UNCA members, was date and time stamped 2:43 pm on June 14. That is to say, Charbonneau sent it to Dujarric three minutes after it was produced only for UNCA.

  Now Inner City Press is putting online audio from the June 14, 2012 UNCA Executive Committee meeting at which, still in the board seat it was elected to before it quit to co-found the Free UN Coalition for Access, it asked if UNCA would enforce the letter's claim it was only for UNCA members.

  Charbonneau answers, “Yes it means that.” Audio here. Three minutes after getting it, Charbonneau would email the letter outside UNCA, to UN DPI's Dujarric. Or does this mean that Dujarric is an UNCA member?

  Either way, the rules negotiated between Dujarric's DPI and Charbonneau's UNCA are totally illegitimate, as is the standing threat to throw Inner City Press out under these suspect rules.

Reuters' Lou "You Didn't Get This From Me" Charbonneau & UN's Ban Ki-moon (c) Luiz Rampelotto

  The first audio clip continues with a representative of Al Jazeera reading the letter that was (intended) to be leaked, and UNCA's former president calling the letter “private and internal.” His first vice president Charbonneau would send it to Dujarric three minutes after receipt.

  A second audio clip records the vote that was taken to approve the “private and internal” letter that Charbonneau would immediately send to Dujarric. Voting by proxy -- not even hearing the argument -- were Voice of America's Margaret Besheer (proxy voted by Barbara Plett of BBC), and still current UNCA officer including Sylviane Zahil and Masood Haider.

  So either these current UNCA board members were defrauded by their then and now first vice president Charbonneau -- they believed what they said, that it wouldn't be given outside of UNCA, but Charbonneau immediately did it -- or they knew and lied. In any event, the UNCA agreed rules with Dujarric's DPI are illegitimate.

  And DPI's argument that only UNCA can have signs, and the new Free UN Coalition for Access, founded after and because of this corruption, can be outlawed is disgusting. We will have more on this.

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