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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Dujarric of Haiti Cameroon Myanmar Marco Rubio Angola Malawi Censorship 300+ UNanswered

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFT Q&A, NY Post

UNITED NATIONS GATE, February 20 – Inner City Press on July 5 was banned from entering the UN, the day after it filed a criminal complaint against UN Security for physically removing it from covering the meeting about the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' $6.7 billion peacekeeping budget, as witnessed and essentially cheered on by senior UN official Christian Saunders, tearing its reporter's shirt, painfully and intentionally twisting his arm and slamming shut and damaging his laptop. On August 17, Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale issued a letter banning Inner City Press from the UN - for life. With no due process. She and Guterres have put the UN in the US Press Freedom Tracker, here. Smale said, again, that the UN would answer Press questions to the Spokesman Stephane Dujarric and his Office; Dujarric said the same on camera. On February 20 four hours before a Dujarric briefing with his friends, Inner City Press submitted 536 questions "There are more than 300+ questions UNanswered.  While appreciating and using what was sent on January 29 after it was read out in the briefing room, no answers on Dec 17 or 18 or 19 or 20 or 21 - another FIVE days in a row, even as SG's direct conflicts of interest and failure to disclose emerge, and a newest low. While appreciating the lone partial response to Question Feb 8-8, nothing on Dec 24 or Dec 26 or Dec 27 or Dec 28, or January 2, 3 or 4 or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 14 or 15 or 16 or 17 or 18 or 21 or 22 or 23 or 24 or 25 or 28 - that was FIFTEEN week-days in a row, apparently under orders, then a simple post-facto answer. Now what? No answers on January 30 nor 31 nor February 1 nor 4 nor 5 nor 6 nor 7 nor 11 nor 12 nor 13 nor 14 or 15 nor 18 nor 19. No answers at all during those four days of the US v Ho trial showing corruption in the UN says it all. This ban is just censorship - and Inner City Press must be allowed back into the noon briefing to ask its questions in person and follow up on them.

February 20-1: On Haiti, what is the SG's comment and action on that five Americans who claimed to be on “a government mission” are facing charges of possession of illegal arms and other crimes in Haiti after being arrested by Haitian police with a cache of automatic rifles and pistols while driving in vehicles without license plates. In all, eight individuals, including a Russian, Serbian and Haitian national, were arrested in Port-au-Prince. Again, what is the SG's comment and action on accountability after the death toll of UN driving into a collective taxi has hit four? "A traffic accident involving a United Nations armored vehicle killed four people and injured nine in Port-au-Prince on Saturday...The vehicle of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) lost the use of its brakes while driving in the capital and collided with a collective taxi — known as a tap-tap — according to witnesses." 

February 20-2: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action on the UNHCR-certified refugees illegally refouled from Nigeria (while the DSG was there) in military court today in Yaounde? Is the UN even monitoring the military trial of refugees? Again, on sexual abuse and exploitation, Cameroon and the UN's increasing lack of transparency, please immediately provide all if-asked and other information about the allegations including attempted rape allegation against Cameroon peacekeepers in CAR and the South African in DRC. Again, what is the SG's comment and action on the report today from Serbia that "The United Nations states that it was a complaint that was received in January, that it was an alleged victim and that the proceedings against the suspected leader were also within the UN and Serbia. The Ministry of Defense did not answer the question of the Whistleblower whether an investigation and a disciplinary procedure is being conducted against that member of the Serbian Armed Forces.... the case of sexual exploitation for which the suspected Serbian soldier was first reported by an independent American journalist Matthew Lee, who has been writing about abuses in the United Nations for years." Explain why you have refused to provide the if-asked information Inner City Press requested. 

February 20-3: On Myanmar, what is the SG's comment and what is the UN system doing about that more than 200 refugees from Paletwa township in Chin State who fled to Bangladesh from fighting between the Tatmadaw (military) and Arakan Army (AA) on February 3 are stranded at the border and need aid, said U Win Thein, head of the Refugee Rescue Committee of Bangladesh.  U Win Thein said the 280 refugees – including ethnic Chin, Khami, Mro and Rakhine from Paletwa, Kintalin and Kha Maung Wa villages – are camped on a hill near Ruma township in Bandarban district in Bangladesh. 

February 20-4: What is the SG's response to US Senator Marco Rubio's criticism that he is playing right into Maduro plans.. When it comes to democracy & human rights UN increasingly worthless"? 

February 20-5: On Angola, what is the SG's comment and action, if any, on that the police arrested nine people in the Cabinda enclave. They are all members of a Church in which the pastor preaches for the self-determination of the Cabinda people? 

February 20-6: On Malawi and the press freedom the SG is set to speak about in Geneva, what is his comment and action on that Malawi police and Immigration officer on Monday detained a South African financial investigative journalist Ntombizodwa Patience Makhoba at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre and subsequently deported her? While she looks into the financial roots of a Malawian businessman? And AGAIN, please immediately explain how it is legitimate to ban from enter into the UN the media that has been asking about these and other questions, with no hearing or appeal. 

February 19-1: On Sudan, what is the SG's comment and action on that on the arbitrary arrest and detention of 116 political activists between December 2018 and February 2019 for their participation or suspected involvement in the ongoing anti-government protests. At least three detainees, including 1 female have been subjected to six-month detention under the emergency law in North Kordofan and North Darfur states. Authorities have targeted opposition party leaders and members who are actively involved in the ongoing protest. Many were arrested during protests and raids in private residences and party houses.  Of the 116 political activists detained, 31 are members of the Sudanese communist party, 49 are Baath Arabic party members and 36 are members of the Sudanese Congress party. Again, confirm or deny SG meeting (not in family photo but hotel) with ICC indicee Bashir. 

February 19-4: Also on CAR, in light of what was said at yesterday's briefing, state what the UN has DONE about the allegations since October 2018 - what is the SG's response to MSF's complaints that Batangafo in October and November, at least 15 people were killed and 29 others injured in the attack on the town, some 400km north of the capital Bangui, according to the report published on Monday.  It said the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR or MINUSCA, failed in its primary responsibility in the country? 

February 19-5: Again, what is the SG's and OIOS' comment and action on whistleblowers complaints to the UN itself, and to Inner City Press that Moin Karim uses UNOPS and his authority as regional director, to ‘hire’ consultants in Geneva on symbolic lump-sum contracts that pay ‘contractors’ symbolic fees (few hundred to few thousand US dollars) who then use their contracts to obtain Swiss work permits and stay in Switzerland for several years. It is said that a number of individuals, who otherwise would not be eligible to reside in Switzerland, have entered the country on those fake contracts and are now seeking citizenship, or are temporarily hiding from their respective authorities? And AGAIN, please immediately explain how it is legitimate to ban from enter into the UN the media that has been asking about these and other questions, with no hearing or appeal.

February 18-3: On Mali and Germany, please immediately state what the UN is doing about that a Malian soldier has been seriously wounded in an apparent friendly fire incident with German troops serving as UN peacekeepers. The incident occurred in the dark as German troops were returning from a mission.  A Malian soldier was seriously wounded during an exchange of fire with German troops serving as UN peacekeepers in the West African country, the German military said Sunday.  The incident occurred the night of February 16? 

February 18-4: On Uganda and peacekeeping, what is the UN's explanation of that " United Nations weapons and other cargo stuck at the Uganda border with DR Congo has been moved to Kampala in an effort to end a deadlock that has lasted nearly two months now.  The move follows a visit by a team of officials at Vurra on the Uganda-DR Congo border. The cargo brought to Kampala has been placed at a warehouse pending negotiations to pay the drivers.  The arrival of the UN officials saw the consignment that includes weapons and other accessories, containers of medical equipment, wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and Land Rovers bearing UN labels first moved from the no-man's land to the Uganda side before five of the now nine trucks were escorted to Kampala by the military."? 

February 18-5: On freedom of expression, what is the SG's comment and actions on that Egyptian authorities have not released of a human rights lawyer who has been detained since 10 December for “inciting social unrest” by posting a picture of himself on Facebook wearing a yellow vest, of a hearing to renew his pre-trial detention tomorrow.  Mohamed Ramadan shared the image after Egyptian authorities restricted sales of the vests - similar to those worn by demonstrators in France - in a bid to prevent copycat protests in Egypt. And AGAIN, please immediately explain how it is legitimate to ban from enter into the UN the media that has been asking about these and other questions, with no hearing or appeal.

February 15-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action on that "More than 150 people have been charged with "hostility to the homeland" and "insurrection" for their role in anti-government protests in Cameroon, the vice-president of the country's main opposition party said.  The president of the Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC) opposition party, Maurice Kamto, was among those charged on Wednesday in a crackdown criticized by human rights campaigners.  He and around 150 other people were arrested in late January and have been held for nearly three weeks by police in the capital Yaounde.  They have gone before a judge in groups, starting with Kamto overnight Tuesday to Wednesday. He was charged with "rebellion, insurrection" and "hostility to the country".  Around twenty of those detained have been released on bail, MRC's vice-president Emmanuel Simh said.  "Hostility to the country" is punishable by the death penalty in theory, but the penalty has not been carried out in Cameroon for more than 30 years"? 

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