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At UN, Algeria's NGO Complaint Processed in Secret, Vote Set for Wednesday

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, January 26 -- As the UN moved closer to suspending its accreditation of the Arab Commission for Human Rights, Algeria's complaint against the group was still being withheld, and all discussions done in secret. Click here for previous coverage. At Monday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked why the complaint was being withheld.  The answer later came, that "the Committee has chosen not to make that document public. We have been informed that a decision on the complaint will take place during a public meeting, to be held within the coming days."

  This ECOSOC Committee on NGOs held "informal consultations" behind closed doors on Monday. Inner City Press' sources inside the meeting describe interventions by Turkey, Egypt and Cuba urging a fast vote to suspend the group. Strikingly, no member state or even NGO has step forward to oppose the accusation.

UN's Ban and Hanifa Mezoui, DESA's withholding not shown

   If one were a human rights advocate in Algeria, is it unheard of that one might speak with even groups accused of terrorism, in order to gauge the legitimacy of the government's crackdown on them? Who should a human rights advocate in Algeria speak with?

   The silence stands in contrast to 2004, when Vietnam's complaint about the Montagnard-defending Transnational Radical Party was opposed by a number of U.S.-based NGOs. Monday the US representative explained only that the U.S. wants more information from Algeria as well, it's said, from Switzerland in connection with an application for refugee status. The U.S. is not defending Mesli or the NGOs, but appears concerned with precedent. In 2006, the U.S. moved to disaccredit Sudan-based Islamic African Relief Agency. In this case, Cuba said no more information should  be needed. The UK finally proposed that the vote be held off until Wednesday. It is currently scheduled for 10 a.m. on that day. Watch this site.

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

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

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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Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

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