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

On Saudi Blogger Flogging, Zeid Speaks Out, As Jordan Denounces Charlie Hebdo

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 15 -- A week after UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press he had not seen the reports about Saudi Arabia already beginning a weekly egimen of flogging of blogger Raif Badawi, on January 15 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a member of Jordan's royal family, denounced the flogging.

 Zeid said, “I appeal to the King of Saudi Arabia to exercise his power to halt the public flogging by pardoning Mr. Badawi, and to urgently review this type of extraordinarily harsh penalty.”

  Zeid's Office added, "Badawi’s case was one of a succession of prosecutions of civil society activists. On Monday, an appeals court upheld the conviction of Badawi’s lawyer and brother-in-law Waleed Abu Al-Khair on charges that include offending the judiciary and founding an unlicensed organisation. Al-Khair’s sentence was extended from 10 to 15 years on appeal.”

  Also on January 15, Jordan's Royal Hashemite Court issued this "response to the publication of an offensive cartoon of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) yesterday by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo: 'The continuation of publishing insulting cartoons that depict our Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) offends the feelings of Muslim communities everywhere. It is a condemned act that is irresponsible and far from the essence of freedom of expression, which is founded on principles of responsibility and respect for religions. These persistent insults come at a time when we are most in need of wisdom, dialogue, openness and constructive efforts embodying respect, tolerance and shared values.'"

   But the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists -- or Dieudonne for that matter -- should be flogged, right? Or in the case of Dieudonne, detained?

   Amid attacks on journalists and freedom of expression in countries all over the world, the United Nations under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is no sanctuary, nor champion, the Free UN Coalition for Access has found.

  Beyond stealth attempts to get the Press thrown out of the UN, there is often little but platitudes about attacks elsewhere.  FUNCA is Pressing the issue.

  On January 8, Inner City Press on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Myanmar jailing at least 10 journalists, and Saudi Arabia preparing to flog a blogger, video here:

Inner City Press / FUNCA: I have two “freedom of the press” questions.  One is about Myanmar. The UN country team there. I saw that the Deputy Secretary-General’s meeting with the UN resident coordinator from Myanmar today.  In light of “Je Suis Charlie," I wanted to ask you the following:  Myanmar is listed as one of the top 10 jailers of journalists.  At least 10 journalists are in jail for having criticized the Government.  And I wanted to know, is it possible to know now or perhaps to hear from this resident coordinator, is this among the issues that the UN raises to Myanmar and what does the UN think of Myanmar’s record for locking up journalists for what they write?

Spokesman Dujarric:  I think the meeting is an internal meeting, as there are many between the Secretary-General… between the Deputy Secretary-General and the resident coordinator.  It’s a routine meeting.  As a principle and as I’ve said here repeatedly over the last few days, the Secretary-General has always reiterated his call for full freedom of the press.  He has spoken out when journalists have been jailed and that’s a consistent position of the United Nations.

Inner City Press / FUNCA:  How about flogged?

Spokesman Dujarric: Oh, go ahead.

Inner City Press / FUNCA:  it seems like the timing is just right, if he’s ready to speak out.  There’s a blogger in Saudi Arabia called Raif Badawi, he’s been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for his blogs.  And according to Amnesty International, he’s going to be receiving 50 flogs a week for the next 20 weeks and it begins Friday.  So I wanted to know… this seems pretty extreme.

Spokesman:  Listen, I have… I have not seen that report.  I will take look at it.

  Seven hours later, nothing, even as others have commented on the impending flogging of this blogger.

  On January 6, Inner City Press on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about attacks by Turkey on Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink whose home in Diyarbakir was searched amid dark self-serving of terrorism.

  UN Spokesman Dujarric replied he hadn't heard of the case. Video here.

  Also on January 6, FUNCA asked UN Spokesman Dujarric about Kuwait sentencing to one year and eight months in jail Saqr Al-Hashash for insulting - Tweeting against -- the Emir. The UN's response was a platitude. But FUNCA will continue.


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

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]