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On Uganda Closing Website and Jailing Journalists UN Tells Inner City Press Bachelet Is On The Case But

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Bobi Wine Scope

UNITED NATIONS GATE, February 8 – As Uganda cracks down on the media, moving to close a website and arresting investigative journalists, Inner City Press before 9 am on February 8 asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' office of the spokesperson questions including: "February 8-8: On Uganda and press (UN) freedom, what is the SG's comment and action on that Uganda has ordered the shut down of the the Daily Monitor website and that Ugandan police on Wednesday night arrested three journalists.The reporters had been helping to expose corruption.  Opondo said the journalists had been cooperating with the State House Health Monitoring Unit to investigate the theft and sale of Ugandan government drugs in neighbouring South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo? And AGAIN, please immediately explain how it is legitimate to ban from enter into the UN the media that has been asking about these and other questions, with no hearing or appeal." Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq sent back this: "On question Feb. 8-8, the OHCHR Office in Uganda met the journalists together with the Uganda Human Rights Commission today.  They have now been released on police bond and OHCHR will be following their case closely." It's appreciated - but what about the Daily Monitor, and Guterres' and Alison Smale's own no due process censorship of Press? We'll have more on this. At the UN with Antonio Guterres 25 months into his term as Secretary General, there's talk of reform but little transparency. After selling out thousands of Anglophones in Cameroon to try to get the country's ambassador's support to move jobs including from Uganda to Kenya, on August 17 Guterres issued a permanent ban on Inner City Press which has asked about both issues entering the UN. Now in a continuing attempt to (re) gain the support of Uganda's Museveni and Sam Kutesa, even after the guilty verdicts against Patrick Ho of China Energy Fund Committee for bribing at least Kutesa, Guterres' UN is again silent as Museveni tries again to break up a gathering of Bobi Wine, this time with tear gas. Bobi Wine has noted that "President @KagutaMuseveni was even recorded live advertising a show for one artiste, to be held on this same day- as if to say that he owns Uganda, and if you want to be allowed to work, you have to lick his feet and be his sycophant!" Sounds like today's UN. Inner City Press at noon on December 26 submitted questions including this one: "December 26-5:  On Uganda, what is the SG's comment and action on the Boxing Day crackdown on supporters of MP Bobi Wine?" The questions were emailed by banned Inner City Press, pursuant to USG @Alison_Smale's promise to UNSR @DavidAKaye they would be answered, also to, among others, Amina Mohammed, Marcia Soares Pinto, Keishamaza Rukikaire, Hua Jiang (who refers to Hak-Fan Lau, Mita Hosali, Joachim Harris and Lydia Lobenthal) and Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, who refers to Arnab Roy and Eihab Omaish - as well as the Guterres' own email. No answers, including on the UN Public Financial Disclosure omissions by Guterres. Birds of a feather. We'll have more on this. Earlier, Bobi Wine alerted that the police "ordered all people out of the premises. As we speak, the premises are completely cordoned off as if it's a crime scene." Meanwhile, it's Guterres' UN that is and should be treated like a crime scene. Inner City Press has exclusively reported that while Guterres fraudulently omitted his role in the Gulbenkian Foundation from his UN Public Financial Disclosure, Gulbenkian in 2018 was trying to sell its Partex Oil to China Energy Fund Committee which Guterres refused to subject to any UN audit, preferring to rough up and ban Inner City Press, 175 days now. We'll have more on this. Earlier in December, police in Jinja District in eastern Uganda raided City Hotel in which  Bobi Wine was booked in search of him. Bobi Wine said, “They have beaten some of them, dragged them onto police pick-up cars and driven them to unknown destinations for no offence whatsoever. Meanwhile, I am still in Jinja town... This injustice must end and we must put it to an end by ourselves. No one else will do it for us." On the morning of December 17, Inner City Press which is banned from entering the UN by UNSG Antonio Guterres whose Global Communicator Alison Smale promised UNSR David Kaye that Inner City Press' written questions about be answered, asked Guterres and his spokesmen: "December 17-2: On Uganda, what is the SG's comment and action on the renewed attempt by President Museveni's forces to arrest / harass MP Bobi Wine, on which many others have expressed concern?" Five hours later, after a UN Briefing by Spokesman Stephane Dujarric at which none whom he let in asked about Uganda or Bobi Wine, no answer by Dujarric or the UN to this or any other Inner City Press questions. Birds of a feather.

Bobi Wine's lawyers have said, "Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, a Ugandan member of parliament best known as “Bobi Wine,” has been forced to seek refuge from an unlawful midnight raid by police which has seen many of his supporters and colleagues swept up and detained while others were reportedly beaten, says lawyer Robert Amsterdam.

According to Amsterdam, who has been communicating with Bobi Wine while he has temporarily sought refuge, these raids took place after nightfall in Jinja, Uganda, where a concert was to take place the following day along with numerous other musicians. Ugandan police have reportedly stormed the hotel where they were staying and detained dozens, while then conducting a neighborhood-wide manhunt with the objective of unlawfully capturing Mr. Kyagulanyi, though there has been no stated cause or charge against him.

“This is a clear and brazen act of targeted political repression by the Uganda authorities aimed at violating Bobi Wine’s human rights,” said Amsterdam. “Once again, Bobi Wine has broken no law, the concert was fully and legally permitted, and the other participating musicians were not targeted.”

Amsterdam says that the latest attempt to arrest Bobi Wine for no reason is clearly reminiscent of the events of this past August 14, when the Kyadondo East MP and many others were brutally arrested, jailed, and subjected to extensive torture by agents of the Special Forces Command (SFC).

“The use of violence and intimidation by the Government of Uganda against peaceful, law-abiding citizens is carried out with the clear intention of repressing their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression,” says Amsterdam. “We are going to be rigorously documenting every unlawful act and violation of rights by members of the police and their superiors and will seek to hold them accountable before every available international forum. The highest authorities have an urgent responsibility to halt this deplorable persecution without delay.”

Tellingly, while Guterres in control of and wasting the entire UN machine of of concern still silent, Helen Clark for example said on Twitter, "Disturbing reports from #Uganda where Opposition MP #BobiWine is again in hiding following police violently arresting members of his concert crew. Bobi was badly hurt in an earlier violent arrest & detention. Govt must allow opposition space."

Likewise, U.S. Representative Karen Bass said, "Reports are coming out that @HEBobiwine may be in danger in Uganda. Stifling freedom of speech and expression and arbitrary arrests have no place in a democracy." One hopes she and the House of Representative act on, as Guterres hasn't, the UN bribery guilty verdic tin US v Ho involving Uganda's Foreign Minister and former UN President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa and evidence about a $500,000 "campaign contribution" for Museveni (who now purports to faux investigate Kutesa, his brother in law).  But UNSG Antonio Guterres is dodging or outright refusing to answer questions about the US v Ho verdict (video here) and the abuse of Bobi Wine and his supporters, being asked only at the UN by Inner City Press who Guterres already had roughed up and banned for life. On September 19, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokes - / hatchet-man Stephane Dujarric, "September 19-1: On Uganda, what is the SG's comment and action on that “Police in Uganda have warned that any welcoming rally for musician-turned-MP Bobi Wine will be unlawful”? Despite two promises by Guterres' UK USG Alison Smale, there has been no answer at all by the next day. Now journalists are being arrested, Bobi Wine's brother reportedly detained. This is what a dictatorship looks likes - including at the UN. On August 30 Inner City Press, banned from the UN briefing, asked in writing: "On Uganda the SG called for police restraint so what is his comment and action on this: the Daily Monitor reports that at least 46 youths were arrested during night protests in support of Bobi Wine: “The [alleged]stone-throwing youth engaged security operatives in running fights at different sections of the Kampala Gulu highway as jubilant residents lined the highway to catch a glimpse of bailed politicians including Kyadondo East MP, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a Bobi Wine from Gulu to Kampala City." Nothing, no response from Spokes-hatchet-man Dujarric who told a journalist was asked about Inner City Press' ouster and lifetime ban without any hearing or appeal that the "issue is settled" and no entry for UNGA week UNlike 1000 largely state media. Now from the Uganda Police, this: @Upf_Spokesman : Today August 30th, 2018, the Uganda Police halted the departure of the Hon Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu at Entebbe International Airport. He has been taken to Mulago National Referral Hospital for a medical examination as he alleged torture." Video clip here. So you're punished in Uganda for alleging torture, just as in Guterres' UN one is roughed up and banned for reporting on Guterres' corruption and collusion on Cameroon. Now Guterres heads to China for an African business confab, ignoreing or concealing his conflict of interest given the African business links of his son Pedro Guimarães e Melo De Oliveira Guterres. This follows Inner City Press' reporting on how Kutesa, as President of the UN General Assembly, solicited from China Energy Fund Committee's Patrick Ho what are being called bribes in Federal court. As Kutesa prepares to travel to China, where not coincidentally Guterres will be September 1 through 4, it's reported in Uganda, "Foreign Affairs Minister Kutesa dismisses Free Bobi Wine protests: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sam Kahamba Kutesa says the riots and protests in parts of the country over the arrest and detention of Members of Parliament and others during the Arua municipality parliamentary campaigns, have no effect on Uganda’s international relations." And, from Xinhua: "As African leaders head to China for the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) early next month, Uganda's Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa said the notion of "a community with a shared future" is critical for Africa-China ties. Kutesa told reporters here on Thursday at a joint press conference with the Chinese ambassador to Uganda that China and Africa share the same aspirations." Guterres' spokesman / censor Stephane Dujarric said on August 23, "I have a trip announcement.  On Saturday 1 September, the Secretary-General will leave for a visit to China, where he will speak at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and that is a summit that is being held in Beijing.  During his visit, the Secretary-General will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other senior Chinese officials.  He will also meet with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, and other African leaders on the margins of the Summit.  The Secretary-General will be back in New York on Tuesday evening, 4 September." Which is the stated deadline to accredit to cover the UNGA High Level week, which Guterres and Dujarric are trying to ban Inner City Press for the first time in 12 years. Censors. Guterres' British head of Global Communications Alison Smale, a former New York Times bureau chief in Berlin, told both GAP then Inner City Press and thus the public that its email questions would be answered. For three briefing in a row, regarding Uganda, Inner City Press has asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric "Now in light of the allegations of torture of Bobi Wine, and abuse of protesters even acknowledge by government after it was filmed and on social media: August 14-5: Given the UN's partnerships with and presence in Uganda, including Entebbes, what is the SG's comment and action on that two Ugandan journalists, who were arrested following Monday's violence, have been released on a police bond and are alleged to have been tortured by authorities.Herbert Zziwa and Ronald Mwanga were "violently arrested by armed men in military fatigues while reporting live on air"? Also, what does the UN know (and say) about the killing in connection with a political rally of the driver of one of the country’s most charismatic political leaders, Robert Kyagulanyi, who is also a popular musician known as Bobi Wine?" First time - no answer. Second time - no answer. Third time - after Guterres' and Smale's ghoulish censorship was profiled in US Press Freedom Tracker along with shorter bans that the UN has criticized - Dujarric emailed Inner City Press this: "On Uganda, we are following closely developments in Uganda. We deplore use of violence and the loss of life. We call on all parties concerned to address issues in full observance of the rule of law and of human rights." Rule of law when Dujarric on June 20 said things would get worse for Inner City Press, and two later it was roughed up and pushed out of the UN during a Guterres speech by UN Security's Lt Ronald E. Dobbins? This is a joke, And on August 24, after Dujarric ignored and didn't even acknowledge fourteen questions in a row from Inner City Press, the question was raised across the street from the mansion Guterres lives in, sometimes, Periscope here. And this: On July 1 there was a claim that the peacekeeping budgets tied to the supposed reforms had been "approved," with no open meeting of the Budget Committee and with Inner City Press which covers it still banned from entering the building on the weekends or evenings when the Committee had consultations, having been ousted June 22 by Guterres' gun-toting guards who refused to give their names. Video here, story here, new petition here. So Inner City Press on July 3 went to cover the Fifth Committee meeting, of which it had been officially informed by UN spokespeople. But once there, it was physically ousted by rogue UN Security Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins and another, right in front of ASG Christian Saunders. On July 5, Inner City Press was banned from entering the UN, even as the UN bragged of approvals. But even UN meetings coverage says what the GA approved: "Under the draft’s section IV titled “Global service delivery model for the United Nations Secretariat”, the Assembly endorsed the conclusions and recommendations in ACABQ’s report (document A/72/7/Add.50), requesting that the Secretary-General submit a new proposal for the model no later than the first resumed part of its seventy-third session — which would take fully into account paragraph 5 of the ACABQ’s report, as well as comments, observations and recommendations of the Joint Inspection Unit — and to both consult and consider Member States and relevant stakeholders." So they ousted and are banning the Press for this - disgusting.
Fox News story here, GAP blogs I and II. On July 23, with Inner City Press banned by the now vacationing Guterres for a 20th day from the UN, it asked Guterres' spokesmen in writing: "Confirm or deny what USG Khare told journalists after a closed-door meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, that “there is no decision yet” following the July 5 resolution by the UN’s 5th Committee which rejected the proposal. “No decision has been taken yet, and all contracts of local and international staff were extended for one year until June 2019.” Has this extension been done elsewhere in the UN system? Where? Under what authority?" Of the five questions Inner City Press, this was the only one responded to so far during the briefing's time, by Farhan Haq: "On your fourth question, we confirm the accuracy of the quote and are seeking further information." Watch this site.

Guterres' proposed Global Service Delivery Model (GSDM) may, despite Guterres' murky attempts to over-ride his advisory team's recommendations, be an exception, as it would eliminate jobs in New York, jobs held by Americans. But the UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions slammed the proposal, as Inner City Press exclusively asked about on June 14, see below. In the UN Budget Committee at the beginning of the week members criticized Guterres' request to vote on the moving-target plan by the end of the Committee's session on Friday June 22. On June 21 Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq if Guterres expected a vote by June 22, and to explain why Guterres wants to move more jobs to Budapest given Prince Zeid's critique of just enacted Hungarian laws. Haq said the placement of UN jobs has nothing to do with human rights - clearly - and referred Inner City Press to the spokesman for the President of the General Assembly, who said the session is being extended to Sunday, June 24. But since Inner City Press has been evicted and restricted, by Guterres' spokespeople and Global Communicator Alison Smale, it cannot enter the UN to cover this big money budget session which it, alone about the UN press corps, is following. In fact, the session were held Saturday and Sunday, after Inner City Press was  ousted on Friday, June 22, video here, story here. On June 29, under the same UNexplained threat of "Gooters' Goons," Inner City Press came to cover the budget end game. Diplomats said that the US is conditioning softening its threatened budget cuts on getting reforms. Fine - but a reform that fires Americans in New York, to move jobs to Mexico City? Has their boss heard of this? Near midnight between Friday and Saturday Inner City Press asked the Chair of the UN Budget Committee Tommo Monthe of Cameroon if it would get done tonight. He said maybe. Guterres has gone beyond his own natural disinterest to actively cover up Cameroon's Biya's killings in order to get the chairman's help. But when the chips are down, Guterres is mostly about  censoring and attacking the Press that covers it and him. At the cusp of June 30 and July 1, with Inner City Press barred from the UN while Guterres virtue signals with taxpayers' money in Bangladesh, UN sycophants gushed that a $6.7 billion peacekeeping budget was approved. But that can only legitimately be done in an open session on UNTV, and there is no indication of that. Guterres' leaving town during this, and barring his lone critic, is disgusting, and those who "report" without mentioning either. All there is a document with modest reductions in peacekeeping missions. The mission in Haiti MINUJUSTAH goes does from Guterres' proposal of $124 million to $121 million; MINURSO in Western Sahara goes down from $53.9 million to $52.3 million. UNAMID in Darfur, which is being blocked in its movements to Jebal Marra, takes a hit. But no Fifth Committee plenary on UNTV, no answer to written questions, Guterres in Bangladesh claiming he will "continue" to pressure Aung San Suu Kyi's Myanmar while Sheikh Hasina continues to speak of putting the Rohingya on a far away island... well, we'll have more on this. On June 25 Guterres spokesman refused to explain, and the PGA's spokesman while confirming the sessions took place referred questions on media access to the Secretariat - which, it seems, is a corrupt censor. On June 18, Inner City Press asked when or if the criticized Guterres proposal would be considered by the UN's Fifth (Budget) Committee. Summary by UN: "The Spokesperson was asked for updates related to the General Assembly’s consideration of the Secretary-General’s Global Service Delivery Model (GSDM) report. The Spokesperson later said that an advance copy of the relevant report by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) had been released last week. As of now, no date had been announced for this agenda item to be introduced in the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee." Then Inner City Press was helpfully informed that it would be considered on June 19. At that meeting, Egypt for the G77 said it was all being rushed, as did Switzerland (which would lose jobs) and Uganda (natch). The Joint Inspection Unit panned the proposal, too. It would be absurd to consider it before the slated June 22 end of the Committee session. But this is the UN. Strangely, the US Mission to the UN supported the proposal, which would involved its citizens, General Service staff, losing jobs. This an hour before a White House press call about trade with and tariffs on China. Are these policies coherent? From Guterres, on his way to the World Cup, silence on this, and on the US impending withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council. We'll have more on this. The GSDM proposal, which Inner City Press first wrote about in early March, is to move to cheaper location(s) back office functions like human resources, payments and payroll.

Inner City Press reported -- and has published full documents on Patreon, here -- the four cities in Guterres' initial filing with ACABQ. On June 14, Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: the Administrative Committee on Advisory and Budgetary Questions [Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions] has put out a report on the Secretary-General's proposal on the global service delivery mechanism, the three cities, and moving… moving several jobs.  They… I guess the word is, reject it.  They're saying that they don't accept three cities.  There should only be two cities, one in Africa.  And they're also saying that the Secretary-General should provide further information to those impacted, including staff.  What… what is the Secretary-General's response to that?  And… and seems to… will slow down the implementation.  So what's he going to do?

Deputy Spokesman:  Regarding that, we're going to continue our dialogue with the Member States, including through the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and we'll follow up with the intention of trying to get the system in place as early as possible next year." We'll have more on this. The initially proposed four cities were Budapest, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City and Nairobi. The first three were each the product of conflict of interest. Guterres wanted Budapest, those involved say, in order to support or cover up his Budapest move while at UNHCR. But given Victor Orban's statements, why is Antonio "Mister Migration" Guterres tweaking the process to reward Hungary? On Kuala Lumpur, UNDP in that country "lent" John Kidd to mediate or change the outside consultants' recommendations - and include KL. Now Malaysia has said it cannot or will not commit the requisite resources, and Inner City Press is informed - not by Guterres spokespeople which it has repeatedly asked - that Kuala Lumpur is out. And then there were three. Inner City Press asked in each article in this series, What will happen to Entebbe which was set up by DFS for their GFSS Global Field Support Strategy? And now Uganda's Museveni has protested to Guterres, without response. Museveni called the decision "unfair;" his foreign minister Sam Kutesa has threatened to call a vote in the General Assembly, of which he was president (and allegedly accepted bribes from Patrick Ho of China Energy Fund Committee, still in Special Consultative status with UN ECOSOC. On May 7, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, again, about the GSDM and specifically about Uganda - and it turns out Guterres spoke with Kutesa, though presumably not about the CEFC bribery scandal, on which Guterres has yet to act.


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