Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

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

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

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


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

RSF Ranks Turkey Low & Sri Lanka Lower, Of UN & Censorship Alliance

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 12 -- Reporters Without Borders has again ranked 180 countries on their degree of press freedom, here. Sri Lanka, for example, is in the worst tranche, below Turkey.

 The Free UN Coalition for Access, beyond believing that in such studies the United Nations with its lack of content-neutral accreditation policies and lack of any Freedom of Information Act should also be ranked, compares Reporters Sans Frontieres' Index with Twitter's disclosure of which countries try to ban the most Tweets (in that, Turkey far outstrips Sri Lanka.)

 The RSF / RWB study, out from under embargo twenty minutes before this publication, is here. As to the UN, consider that its officials met secretly with board members of the UN Correspondents Association about trying to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN. This UNCA, the UN's Censorship Alliance, through its past and present president Giampaolo Pioli demanded the removal from the Internet of reporting about Sri Lanka; others did so on behalf of Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping, who refuses to answer Press questions, video here, Vine here.

  Tellingly, one of the UNCA board's anti-Press complaints to the UN has even been censored from access on Google, here, under Reuters' Louis Charbonneau's claim of "copyright" under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Click here for notice via EFF's Chilling Effects project. Forms of censorship are evolving, and so should the methodology for studying -- and combating -- them.

  At the UN, transparency and access are in decline, due to collusion. On February 6, Inner City Press for the Free UN Coalition for Access asked, video here, asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric whether in the trip to Saudi Arabia Ban had announced only to the UN's Censorship Alliance Ban would raise the case of flogged blogger Raif Badawi.

  Dujarric said wait and see, but when Ban spoke at the end he said no individual cases were raised; he did not mention freedom of expression.

 By contrast, even the UK's Prince Charles did raise Badawi's case to King Salman. Ban's excuse was that, after flying all the way to Saudi Arabia, there was no time to raise individual cases. Prince Charles had more time?

From the UN's transcript:

Inner City Press / FUNCA: You said about the Secretary-General and freedom of expression.  So I wanted to ask you, on this upcoming trip beginning today to Saudi Arabia, is the situation of the blogger, Raif Badawi, who’s been in prison and scheduled to be flogged, is that something that the Secretary-General intends to bring up?  I wanted to ask because I saw the announcement was made in a way where it was sort of, things then went off the record.  It seems you were there; I saw what was put out by your office.  Was this answered in that context?  If so, was that asked even in that context?  And finally, who’s paying for the travel on this trip?  Is he flying commercial, paid by the UN?  Or is he--

Spokesman Stephane Dujarric:  He’s flying commercial, paid by the United Nations.  The issue of freedom of the press is something the Secretary-General routinely raises, and I think we will give you a readout of the meeting with His Majesty after it happens and the Secretary-General also has a press encounter scheduled following his encounter with the King, and those remarks will be made public.  But you know, the issue of freedom of expression and freedom of the press is raised in many different contexts and many different countries.

  On February 5 the UN's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said

"You might be aware of this already, but I have a trip announcement for you; I believe the Secretary-General mentioned this to some of you yesterday.  The Secretary-General will depart for Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on Friday, 6 February, to convey his condolences to the people of Saudi Arabia, who had recently lost their leader, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.  During his two-day stay in Saudi Arabia, the Secretary-General will also meet with country’s new leader, King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud."

  The "some of you" referred to the Executive Committee of the UN Correspondents Association, which released no transcript of the spoon-feeding session, merely tweeting from the session, at 1:42 pm, "#UNSG Ban tells UNCA committee he will travel to #SaudiArabia on Friday to meet King Salman to talk Mideast challenges, then on to #UAE."

 No mention for example of Saudi flogged blogger Raif Badawi, from an organization which claims to care about freedom of the press - actually, it doesn't -- now any other questions. A mere pass-through.


Share |

* * *

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

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

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2015 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]