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Ban Ki-moon Receives Open Letters to Reverse UN's Gallach Flawed Ouster of ICP

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 19 -- The UN on February 19, after Inner City Press asked about UN inaction in South Sudan and Burundi and financial irregularities, handed Inner City Press a letter to leave the UN by 5 pm. Letter here; some analysis here.

  The letter was signed by the Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Galach of Spain but ultimately Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in charge.

  Both have now, after Nobel Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta an others, received this (Gallach has not responded to email from Inner City Press, nor contacted it before her letter)

To: "" <>
Cc: "" <>, "" <>
From: China Matters
Date: Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 7:12 PM
Subject: Matt Lee/Inner City Press

Dear Ms. Gallach,

I express my support for Matt Lee of Inner City Press and my objection to the withdrawal of his permanent credential and the uncivil treatment he received.

Mr. Lee's reporting on the UN is smart, informed, critical, and necessary.  As an observer, commentator, and writer, I rely on Mr. Lee's insights and his frank, unvarnished reporting to understand what is happening at the UN--and why--on important issues such as Ukraine, Burundi, Iraq, Syria, and the role of the People's Republic of China.

The UN's ability to engage positively with Mr. Lee is an indication of its maturity, transparency, and commitment to the principles of the UN Charter.  Treating Mr. Lee shabbily, on the other hand, brings into question the UN's relevance and character as an institution devoted to individual freedoms and well-being.

I urge you to reinstate Mr. Lee's permanent credential, and apologize to him.

Peter Lee (no relation)
cc: The Honourable Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General
      Mr. Edmond Mulet, Chef de Cabinet

Beyond Jose Ramos Horta and the others, the UN Staff Unions - the ones not broken by Ban Ki-moon, have opined that the "UN has revoked the resident press pass of Matthew Russell Lee after he asked too many questions about a Macau businessman's influence over the UN. Lee has been the only journalist brave enough to ask awkward questions of UN management."

  The pretext was Inner City Press three weeks earlier seeking to cover a meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room by an organization which has taken money from now indicted Ng Lap Seng and Frank Lorenzo's South SOuth News, then gave Ng Lap Seng a photo op with Ban.

  This was a principled dispute whether the UN and Ban Ki-moon's Spokesman Stephane Dujarric can order a journalist out of the UN Press Briefing Room, and can "lend" the UN Press Briefing Room for private events to anyone they choose, from French President Francois Hollande ("lent" to by Dujarric) or the UN Correspondents Association a/k/a/ UN Corruption Association, apparently lend to without much knowledge by new head of DPI Cristina Gallach.

  Even major UNCA members have told Inner City Press it was a mistake by the UN or Gallach to give the UN Press Briefing Room for a private UNCA event. The only reason was the UNCA chief Giampaolo Pioli was paying waiters for a corrupt open bar event up in the large clubhouse the UN gives to UNCA.

  Now, trying to obfuscate (we are being diplomatic) all this, Gallach has written - to a Nobel Peace Prize winner no less - that

"Dear mr Ramos-Horta,

Many thanks for your message which allows me to inform you about the decision I have taken on the type of accreditation that Mr Lee has and will have in the future.

Recently mr Lee openly broke the rules that guide all the resident

  Inner City Press did NOT violate any rule; at the time Gallach sent this evasive email, her UN guards were tearing the UN pass of Inner City Press' neck and refusing to allow it to access its files or even its coat on an 18 degree night.

  To top it off, Gallach in the three week since the event she mis-presents did not ONCE try to email or speak with Inner City Press about why it believed and believes it has a presumptive right to cover events in the UN Press Briefing Room.

  Who chose this person to be in charge of the UN's public information and press accreditation office?

  Inner City Press uses the word "lie" advisedly, since UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq, on video / Periscope, announced while acting to eject Inner City Press from the UN Press Briefing Room on January 29, "He lies a lot."

 Is this how a UN Spokesperson, even a deputy, should be speaking about a UN correspondent?

   Gallach repeated this same ill-informed anti-Press position, without once speaking with the Press, to at least one Permanent Representative of a UN Member state, and had her "bag carrier" Darrin Farrant tell a UN Security Council member state that nothing could or would be done.

Who runs the UN?

(As Inner City Press reported, Gallach attended the South South Awards just before the indictments. What "rules" did that violate - actual laws that have led to legal indictments?)

  UN Security demanded ICP's pass, which it declined to provide at least until 5 pm. Then UN Security told Inner City Press its grounds pass was being revoked in full and it could not re-enter the UN for any purpose.


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