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After NYPD Arrests UN Official, UN Withholds Report & Its Action, Silva Fallout

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 25 -- Even after the NY Police Department has arrested the head of the UN's Emergency Preparedness unit for sexual abuse, the UN has just refused to tell the complainant what discplinary action it has taken.

  In a June 22 letter obtained and now first reported by Inner City Press, the officer in charge of the UN Office of Human Resources Management Martha Helena Lopez has told the complainant that despite a June 14 request to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, neither the fact-finding report nor information about the disciplinary measures taken will be provided.

  The UN tells the complainaint "it is the practice of the Organization not to publicly disclose the discliplinary action(s) imposed on a given staff member." And the administrative instruction about releasing fact finding reports has been repealed or "superseded" under Ban Ki-moon, in UN-ese.

  Inner City Press is choosing not to publish the letter itself, to not identify the complainant.

  Back on June 14, after reporting the arrest and after confirmation by NYPD the name of the arrestee, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky

about an incident at 380 Madison Avenue, which initially I was asking about because of the Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping and General Shavendra Silva...  now it’s been confirmed to me by the New York Police Department, a UN official, who will remain unnamed, the head of the Emergency Preparedness Unit submitted himself to the 17th Precinct and was, in fact, arrested for sexual abuse... So, I wanted to know... [if] this individual has been downgraded from P5 to P4 at the same salary and with the same job, which some people see as not consistent with the zero tolerance policy?

  Nesirky replied that "I can’t comment on what may or may not have transpired at the New York Police Department; that’s for them to comment on. I cannot comment on that. On the second part, there was an internal procedure, which is confidential in nature, and therefore I cannot comment further on that."

  But, Inner City Press asked, "Is immunity going to be sought?"

   Nesirky said, "my answer in two parts will suffice there. And I am just checking on other questions."

  No further information has been provided; now, the UN denies the infromation to the complainant herself.

  Since February 22, Inner City Press has covered this sexual abuse complaint. on June 12 Inner City Press was reliably informed that the abuser, whose name we knew throughout, was called into the 17th Precinct on 51st Street to surrender to police, with his lawyer. Inner City Press went and staked it out, in the rain. Later, Inner City Press obtained the file number: 2011-017-3670.

  NYPD spokesman Lt. John Grimpel told Inner City Press that yes, he was arrested on June 12 for a complaint filed in October 2011 of sex abuse in the Keats bar at 842 Second Avenue. So after having withheld the name since we first reported on this case on February 22, 2012, we ran his name: Dushyant Joshi, the head of the UN's Emergency Preparedness unit.

  Back in on February 22 when Inner City Press went to the UN-rented building at 380 Madison Avenue to see if alleged war criminal Sri Lanka general Shavendra Silva attended Ban Ki-moon's Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations, it witnessed the NY Police Department being barred from entering the building to arrest a UN staffer.

  While Ban's spokesperson's office on March 1 and thereafter denied that the NYPD was at 380 Madison to arrest any UN staffer, based on a case of abuse filed by a female UN contractor, this was multiply confirmed to Inner City Press.

17th Precinct in rain June 12 as Joshi arrested inside, (c) MRLee

   The UN's Office of Human Resources Management under Catherine Pollard has belatedly "found cause" in the female contractor's complaint, and has (merely) demoted the abuser from P5 to P4 level, but with the same job: head of the UN's Emergency Preparedness unit.  Now the stonewalling continues.

Footnote: As we tweeted at the time, hat tip to the work on this of UN Justice, including on June 21 regarding the June 14 request. May the struggle for accountability from the UN on these matters, and those like the introduction of cholera into Haiti and role in the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka, report already delayed for months, continue.

We'll have more on this. Watch this site.

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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