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With AIDS Activist in Uzbek Jail, UN Quiet, on Gambia Expulsion Too

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 2 -- The head of UNAIDS Michel Sidibe, flanked by singer Annie Lennox, told the Press on Tuesday that the UN is "pushing advocacy" for AIDS eduction and activists.

  Inner City Press asked why the UN had said nothing about Uzbekistan's imprisonment of AIDS activist Maxim Popov back in September 2009, and the burning of a pamphlet he worked on promoting the use of condoms and clean needles.

  Mr. Sidibe said that UNAIDS has been trying to "better understand the case," saying it was "mixed with corruption issues." Video here, from Minute 32:45.

  Whatever the regime of Islam Karimov is alleging about Mr. Popov, it is incontroverted that his AIDS pamphlet was deemed illegal for promoting condoms and clean needles. So why did the UN stay quiet?

UNAIDS' Sidibe gets marching orders from UN's Ban, Uzbek lockdown not shown

  Inner City Press also asked about The Gambia, here President Jammeh has claimed he can cure AIDS by the laying on of  hands. Jammeh previously expelled the UN Development Program's resident coordinator, and more recently expelled UNICEF's country representative.

  UNICEF continues to say it has no idea why its representative was expelled. Nor did UNICEF, which reportedly funded Mr. Popov's pamphlet, appear to advocate for his release. Why would these UN organizations claim to be engaged in "hard advocacy" but in fact remain silent? To paraphrase, Silence = Death. Watch this site.

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Sex Abuse by Peacekeepers UN-Solved Amid CSW Shindigs at UN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 1 -- With the UN teeming with participants in the Conference on the Status of Women, Inner City Press on Monday asked the personal representatives of the president of the Congo and of the prime minister of Morocco about UN peacekeepers charged with sexual abuse or exploitation.

  "In the DRC," the Moroccan representative said, "there were accusations proven to be false." Video here, from Minute 23:30. The Congolese representative stared at her.

  But even as to the Congo, when a UN peacekeeper is accused, the most that is done is to repatriate the soldier back to his home country. After that, it is never clear if there is prosecution or punishment. Inner City Press asked the Moroccan representative about the case of more than 100 Moroccan soldiers repatriated from the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire, UNOCI -- where they ever prosecuted?

  I am not sure, was the answer, then a reference to one person being prosecuted. The representative said that in Morocco the army and gendarmes take this seriously, the police less so. But where is the showing of what was done with the repatriated peacekeepers? The UN provide obscurantist statistics, saying the Troop Contributing Countries don't want to be exposed.

  The Congolese representative said that the repatriation is the most that can be done. Inner City Press asked about charges that Joseph Kabila, whom she represented, has done too little about rapes committed by his army, particularly by the units that came in from the CNDP. Video here, from Minute 19:45. This question was not answered. On this, and other UN system sleaze in Kinshasa, we will continue to inquire this week. Watch this site.

CSW meeting in UN on March 1, accountability for UN sex abuse not shown

Footnote: the CSW as not only filled the UN cafeteria, so recently the site of an anthrax scare, but at a more elite level has given rise to a string of receptions. On Monday, the UK's Mark Lyall Grant has invited heads of CSW delegations to the UK mission, while Egypt's Maged Abdelaziz makes a similar invite to his country's Art Deco mission on 44th Street..

  On Tuesday, Chile's Heraldo Munoz invites delegates and Permanent Representatives to his residence on East 57th Street. This competes with the EU reception on 72nd Street and Madison Avenue. On Wednesday March 3, Ambassador Susan Rice invites the same crowd to the U.S. Mission. Many parties, little accountability. Again, on this, and other UN system sleaze in Kinshasa, we will continue to inquire this week. Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel 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.

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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

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