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After UN DPI Ousts ICP, UN Staff Union Demands Restore Office & Full Pass

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 26 -- After Inner City Press was summarily ejected from the UN, which it has covered for 10 years, on February 19, the ostensibly deciding official Cristina Gallach told no less than Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta that Inner City Press would still be able to cover the UN.

What she didn't say was that Inner City Press' ability to cover the unfolding UN corruption scandal in which she has played a role would be curtailed under the proposed arrangement - by design.

  Because as a working journalist it needed access to cover the February 25 UN Security Council meeting about North Korea, and only in connection with filing a lawyer's letter telling Gallach and the UN not to touch Inner City Press' office or files, Inner City Press late morning entered the UN with a so-called "Green P" non-resident correspondents pass.

  At the stakeout, after covering five separate Security Council consultations, Inner City Press asked the President of the Security Council for February, Rafael Ramirez of Venezuela, about one of them, and what he thought of the UN's commitment to free press.

"I hope you find your office," the President of the Security Council said. Video here. So who is Cristina Gallach? Another Security Council Permanent Representative told Inner City Press what Gallach did, ousting the Press without due process, was "outrageous."

On February 26, the UN Staff Union's 45th Staff Council adopted and issued a Bulletin calling for the UN to immediate restore Inner City Press to possession of its office and to ensure these abuses not happened again. Full text here; excerpts below:

"The 45th Staff Council of the United Nations Staff Union expresses its solidarity with Mr. Matthew R. long-time journalist of Inner City Press who was summarily stripped of his credential and physically thrown out of United Nations premises by security personnel, reportedly on the instructions of the Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Public Information.

It is shocking and dismaying that at the United Nations, as a beacon of all freedoms enshrined in its Charter, the Administration would blatantly eject a member of the press corps assigned to report on events at the Organization, in an attempt to muzzle and intimidate.


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