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UN Refuses To Explain Taking Photos & Passing Them to BuzzFeed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNdisclosed Location, March 23 -- When the UN and its UN Censorship Alliance want to retaliate against and throw out a journalist, what do they do?

They raid the reporter's office without notice or consent, search papers and take photographs and give them out, anonymously, to BuzzFeed.

   Inner City Press has three times now asked the UN “to state its knowledge of how photographs taken during the non-consensual entry / search of Inner City Press' office on March 18 were then sent from a 'Concerned UN Reporter' account to BuzzFeed.”

  Specifically, “were these the photographs that the UN allowed UN Correspondents Association president Pamela Falk of CBS to take that day? Or were these the photographs the UN took?”

  If the UN took the photos ostensibly for health reasons, why did they give them out? (In terms of health, remember, this is the same UN that brought cholera to Haiti by pouring raw sewage into drinking water then denied all claims after more than 5000 were killed.)

  UN official Stephane Dujarric, who in 2012 on grounds having nothing to do with cleanliness but only content was asked by UNCA and Voice of America to “review” Inner City Press' accreditation, twice evaded and the third time not responded to the simple request.

  Dujarric replied, “Regarding the photos on BuzzFeed. they were not shared by the UN with the author and I can't very well ask her where she got them.”

The “her” is Rosie Gray, who beyond this story has been breaking ground exposing lobbying by Malaysia and others, and for example interviewing Susan Rice. It's fine to publish material given anonymously.

  But how can the UN explaining giving out these photographs? (Or, embedded Pam Falk of CBS and UNCA being allowed by the UN to take them?)

  Inner City Press has followed up, “aware that DPI shared photographs taken during their non-consensual search of Inner City Press office with other resident correspondents. That was inappropriate, especially now that digital copies of said photographs were sent to BuzzFeed -- anonymously, of course, in fine UNCA fashion -- by 'Concerned UN Reporter.'

"This is a request that the UN explain why DPI shared these photographs, ostensibly taken for some UN safety and security purpose, with scribes known to have sought, and to seek, the expulsion of Inner City Press?”

 With some, the photos are having their intended or predictable effect. As simply one example, an individual from "Think Progress" has opined that "I've had a problem with the tone of his posts for years" and "having seen the pictures in Gray's piece, if real, I'd have reported Lee, too."


  Some, titillated by photographs without asking their context or provenance, have mis-stated that UNCA, Voice of America, Tim Witcher of Agence France Presse and Louis Charbonneau of Reuters pushed to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN on cleanliness grounds (the UN Cleanliness Association?)

  This is false: they hadn't even been in the Inner City Press office, never complained about it.

  They didn't like the content of articles and speech -- like some UN officials. So when the chance came to enter Inner City Press' office without consent, search papers and take photographs and pass them out, anonymously, to BuzzFeed, they did.

This is how the UN's Censorship Alliance works. Watch this site.

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