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Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


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

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At UN, Sudan and Burundi Oppose World Without Genocide's Accreditation, SG Echo

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video; Video II, Vine

UNITED NATIONS, February 3 – Sudan and Burundi opposed UN accreditation for a group called "World Without Genocide" on February 2, with Burundi demanding to know what its links are with the International Criminal Court. (WWOG is based at a law school in the US state of Minnesota, and works among other mass killings on those in Sri Lanka). This took place in a meeting of ECOSOC's NGO Committee, with despite moves to open the Committee, no other media seen in attendance (and bribery vehicle China Energy Fund Committee still with "special consultative status" with ECOSOC). Burundi quit the ICC once it was under investigation. Sudan's president Omar al Bashir is under ICC indictment for, yes, genocide in Darfur - which didn't stop UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres from meeting with him last weekend, without telling the ICC first. After Guterres took three pre-picked media questions on February 2, Inner City Press audibly asked him if before he meet over the weekend with Darfur genocide indictee Omar al Bashir, he informed the International Criminal Court's Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda - in advance, as required. Guterres did not answer; his spokesmen have been dodging the question all week from Inner City Press. Here's from the UN Guidelines: "A procedure has been established whereby OLA [the Secretariat's Office of Legal Affairs] informs the Prosecutor of the Court and the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute in advance of such meetings.  The letter informs the Court of the meeting and explains why it is considered necessary." While Guterres refused to answer, Inner City Press is reliably informed that the ICC Prosecutor was NOT informed in advance. Tellingly, when in 2017 it was thought possible that Guterres' Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed might run into Bashir at a summit, the ICC was told in advance of that possibility. On this and other matters such as the continuing lack of any content neutral rules for media accreditation and access, Guterres is more and more lawless. But the three question(er)s picked by his spokesman Dujarric didn't inquiry into Guterres or even the UN's performance at all. This is today's UN. On January 30 as Inner City Press sought to complete its reporting for the day on Guterres' Bashir meeting and Mohammed's Cameroon no-answer, it had a problem. It was invited to the month's UN Security Council president's end of presidency reception, 6:30 to 8:30 - but with its accreditation reduced by censorship, it could not get back into the UN after 7 pm, to the already delayed UN video. It ran to at least enter the reception - but the elevator led to a jammed packed third floor, diplomats lined up to shake the outgoing UNSC president's hand. Inner City Press turn to turn tail back to the UN, passing on its way favored, pro-UN correspondents under no such restriction. Periscope here. Inner City Press has written about this to the head of the UN Department of Public Information Alison Smale, in Sepember 2017 - no answer but a new threat - and this month, when Smale's DPI it handing out full access passes to no-show state media. No answer at all: pure censorship, for corruption. Smale's DPI diverted funds allocated for Kiswahili, her staff say, now saying they are targeted for retaliation. This is today's UN. Amid UN bribery scandals, failures in countries from Cameroon to Yemen and declining transparency, today's UN does not even pretend to have content neutral rules about which media get full access and which are confined to minders or escorts to cover the General Assembly.

Inner City Press, which while it pursue the story of Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng's bribery of President of the General Assembly John Ashe was evicted by the UN Department of Public Information from its office, is STILL confined to minders as it pursues the new UN bribery scandal, of Patrick Ho and Cheikh Gadio allegedly bribing President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, and Chad's Idriss Deby, for CEFC China Energy.

Last week Inner City Press asked UN DPI where it is on the list to be restored to (its) office, and regain full office - and was told it is not even on the list, there is no public list, the UN can exclude, permanently, whomever it wants. This is censorship, and has been accepted and even encouraged by what has become the UN Censorship Alliance, which accepted funds from Ng Lap Seng's South South News and had Inner City Press ejected from the UN Press Briefing Room as it inquired into the story.

When this UNCA held its annual meeting on January 29, it could barely reach quorom (Periscope here); it covered over the glass doors of the clubhouse the UN gives it with a sign board.

Disgruntled members forwarded the "agenda" -- "1) Introduction of the new 2018 UNCA Executive Committee. 2) Presentation of UNCA sub-committees and their upcoming agendas. 3) Presentation of 2017 UNCA & UNCA Awards financials. 4) UNCA 70th anniversary. 5) Other matters." We'll have more on this.


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