Inner City Press

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

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

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

Nkunda and UN's Expulsion of NGO Not Considered by Rights Committee

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, April 3 -- The UN Human Rights Committee, which has held most of its just-concluded session in New York in meetings closed to the press and public, emerged Friday to speak at length in what was called a press conference on three countries -- Rwanda, Australia and Sweden -- leaving less than ten minutes for questions.

  Inner City Press asked if the Committee's consideration of Rwanda included support given to militia leader Laurent Nkunda in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, separately, the issue of criminalizing the use of the names of ethnic group, Hutu, Tutsi and Batwa.

   Committee member Ruth Wedgwood, who had spoken at length about Rwanda and Sweden, said that support of Nkunda has not been considered, adding "the ICC has a case on him, if I recall." But International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo has not indicted Nkunda, but only his deputy Bosco, who now apparently works, like the UN, with the DRC's army.

   Ms. Wedgwood said the situation of the Batwa had been discussed -- "with the Ambassador, who's here," she said, pointing. Rwanda's Permanent Representative Joseph Nsengimana was sitting in the press briefing room, taking notes. Often, diplomats are barred from the briefing room unless their Mission sponsored the presentation. Despite Ambassador Nsengimana's always pleasant demeanor, whether the general limitation to attendance to the press should be violated to let in representatives of the countries being reported on is something the UN should consider.

Rwanda in 1962, UN human rights assistance since not shown

   Inner City Press also asked the panel, which had twice mentioned receiving information from non-governmental organizations or NGOs, if they were aware that the UN's Committee on NGOs recently disbarred at least for a year the human rights NGO Arab Commission on Human Rights. As Inner City Press covered exclusively, Algeria complained that ACHR in Geneva had let a person speak who was, Algeria said, a terrorist. The group was disbarred. Inner City Press asked if the Human Rights Committee monitors the expulsion of some human rights groups from the UN. No, Ms. Wedgwood said, I am not aware of their hearing process. It seems like something the Committee should be concerned about.

   There was only one other questioner, about the just-announced appointment of Richard Goldstone as part of the Gaza investigation by the Human Rights Council. (The Council is made up of governments, the Committee by "independent experts.") Panelist Nigel Rodley replied drily that the Committee does not cover current events. Committee head Yuji Iwasawa, however, did say that drafting of a General Comment on Article 19, freedom of expression, has begun. One wonders how it might related to the Council's recent resolution against the "defamation of religion." On that, Inner City Press asked earlier if Ban Ki-moon had any comment. He did not.

   There was no time on Friday to ask Australia questions, and only one on Sweden: an extradition threatened in 2008 back to Eritrea, which the UN's own Committee on Torture complained about (and stopped, or delayed). The Human Rights Committee, in considering Sweden's implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, apparently did not consider this case. Given the number of closed meetings that they had, one wonders what they do.

   Footnote:  A fourth country, Chad, was let off the hook because its delegation arrived late and nothing could be scheduled. They will re-appear in Geneva in July. So who paid for the failed trip to New York, and what did the Chadian delegation do?

  Click here for a new YouTube video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -