Afghanistan, UN Won't Investigate Black Jail or Speak on
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 12, updated -- With Afghan President Hamid Karzai in
to meet with Barack Obama today, it's not only the US that's making
nice: the UN is following suit, abdicating even on human rights to
both the US military and Karzai government.
where the UN has a presence, particularly a Mission like it has in
Afghanistan, it claims to monitor human rights violations. So for
example, if only to burnish its credibility, the UN Mission under
both Kai Eide and now Staffan de Mistura has issued press releases
criticizing killings of civilians by the US and ISAF, when the
numbers are too high.
when Inner City
the UN on May 11, with Karzai in the US, about reports of
a "black prison" on the Bagram base, UN spokesman Martin
Nesirky replied "this is a United States base; it’s for the
United States to comment on."
asked, "Does UNAMA have any human rights component? Doesn’t
the UN have some role, where it has a peacekeeping mission, to
investigate claims like this?"
said, "The UN’s mandate there is very clear and this
particular story... this is something that you can clearly ask the
it's not about asking, it's a
question of what the UN is going to do. Does it just
sit in a country, see reports of human rights violations, and do
nothing? In Sudan, for example, while the UN actually does very
little to stop the killing, it does speak about it a lot. But the UN
dares not criticize the US -- or for that matter China or other
Permanent Five members of the Security Council who could veto a
second Ban Ki-moon term.
is the UN
clear about money it's said to offer. A week after the UN flip
flopped on whether it would offer aid to the interim government in
Kyrgyzstan -- at first no, then ostensibly yes, which upon inquiry
was simply a quantification of aid already being given -- Inner City
Press asked how much the UN will devote to the upcoming Afghan
parliamentary election. Karzai's fraud addled election cost the UN
quite a bit.
UN's Ban and Karzai, black jail and Board of Inquiry
From the May
11 UN transcript:
City Press: it’s reported that the upcoming parliamentary elections
there; this IEC [Independent Election Commission] official, Zakaria
Barakzai, has said that the UN will make up a funding shortfall of
some $40 million. Is that the case? What is going to be the UN’s
financial contribution or activity in connection with that election?
Nesirky: We need to find out the exact numbers for you, if you’re
giving me numbers like this. I am not familiar with those. I would
need to find out.
City Press: Also it’s reported, including by the UN’s own
ReliefWeb, that the Afghan Government has cancelled the licences of
172 non-governmental organizations, including 20 international NGOs.
I’m wondering if the UN, as it did in Sudan, for example, has any
comment on this cancelling of licences of NGOs.
This is something that our colleagues in Kabul are probably very
familiar with. I have not heard; my colleagues here in New York have
not heard any particular word from the Mission there. If we have
something, then we will obviously let you know.
City Press: There is also a report today that, both by the BBC and
the Red Cross, of the discovery of a black jail; i.e., an unreported
interrogation centre on the Bagram Air Force Base that the United
States runs in Afghanistan. I wonder if it’s, if that is anything
that the UNAMA [United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan] or
its human rights component has ever heard of? Do they intend to
investigate it? Do they have any comment on it?
That’s something for the United States. This is a United States
base; it’s for the United States to comment on. We’ve seen the
Does UNAMA have any human rights component? Doesn’t the UN have
some role, where it has a peacekeeping mission, to investigate claims
The UN’s mandate there is very clear and this particular story —
obviously we’ve seen that story on the BBC. This is something that
you can clearly ask the US.
the US Misison
to the UN hasn't even answer a question posed on the morning of May
11, 24 hours later. Watch this site.
Update: over 24
hours later, this came in:
Your questions on Afghanistan
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply
<unspokesperson-donotreply [at] un.org>
Date: Wed, May 12,
2010 at 3:40 PM
To: matthew.lee [at] innercitypress.com
have some answers from UNAMA concerning your recent questions at the
noon briefing about Afghanistan.
the financing of the Afghan elections: It is not correct that the UN
funds elections in Afghanistan. Rather, Staffan de Mistura has asked
donors to release funds to support Afghanistan's electoral bodies for
the upcoming elections. The UN will work on mobilizing funds to fill
the licensing of NGOs: The UN Mission (UNAMA) and Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are looking into it
further but have no comment at this time. It does not seem to affect
any NGOs working with UN.
reports about a secret prison facility at Bagram, UNAMA has no
independent information on this report.
* * *
Karzai Visits US, More Questions of Who Killed Louis Maxwell Raised by
Sister: An Inconvenient Death
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 9 -- An inconvenient death casts a shadow, at least for
some, over this week's visit to the U.S. by Afghan President Hamid
Karzai, and over the UN.
of American UN staffer Louis
Maxwell in October 2009, following an attack on a UN guesthouse of
international elections workers in Kabul, has belatedly been
described by the UN as "friendly fire."
a cell phone
video suggests, and Mr. Maxwell's sister among others believes, that
Maxwell was summarily executed by Afghan National forces after the
firefight was over. The UN never retracted its version, that Maxwell
and four other UN staff were all killed by the Taliban, until the
video became public and questions became to be asked, including by
Inner City Press.
phone video, here, esp. at Minute 1:01 to 1:04
over the weekend wrote to Inner City Press for a third time, now
putting into words the doubt that the Taliban were (solely)
responsible for the attack on the UN guesthouse. She focuses on the
conflict of interest the UN has, in confining itself to an internal
investigation -- which it described as external and independent --
and then refusing to release a copy of its report, even to the
the U.S., too,
has a conflict, as a press conference call by Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute
on May 7 shows. Lute repeatedly described Karzai as "our
partner" and spoke about the training and evaluation of Afghan
National forces. (Lute is, as Inner City Press has reported, the
husband of former head of the UN Department of Field Support Jane
pre-trip Washingotn Post op-ed says he will "convey my deepest
condolences to families of those who lost their lives in Afghanistan."
Lute and his
staffer emphasized that Karzai will spend three full hours with
Obama. In all that time, will the matter of Louis Maxwell be
raised? Inner City Press was on the press call and put itself in the
question cue as soon as it was open, but was not able to ask the
question. But the questions will continue. Below is Louis Maxwell's
third letter to Inner City Press (click here
Karzai and UN's Ban, public and credible
report on Maxwell's death not shown
Date: Sun, May 9, 2010 at 3:39
To: Matthew Lee [at] innercitypress.com
Around October 20, 2009, Kai Eide the top UN official of the mission
affirmed that the August 20 elections had been tainted. It was stated
that about one to five of the votes should be discounted and that
most of the election fraud came from Karzai supporters.
On October 28 the UN guesthouse was attacked. The same guesthouse
where UN monitors for this same election was staying.
After the attack it is stated by top UN officials that senior afghan
officials were uncooperative in providing information and that
they(UN) were completely stonewalled.
On November 1 the runoff candidate to Karzai drops out of the
On November 7 Karzai is declared president.
And this is the same government that Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
wants to investigate their deliberate killing(murder) of my brother
be the judge....
* * *