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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Dujarric About Cameroon CAR Saudi SEA Japan China Halibut Censorship 300+ UNanswered

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

UNITED NATIONS GATE, March 5 – 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 March 5 two hours before a Dujarric briefing after Guterres invited a trustee of the Century Fund - as a journalist - to nosh on halibut off the record, Inner City Press submitted 585 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 28-3, 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 nor 20 nor 21 nor 22 nor 25 nor 26 nor 27 nor March 1 nor 4. 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. 

"March 5-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action if any on the continued detention of Michèle Ndoki has been been held by the  Special Operations Unit in Yaounde since she was arrested by security forces under unclear circumstances? Again, as not answered, on Cameroon and Nigeria, what are the comments and actions of the SG and separately of the DSG on the Nigeria court decision that the refoulement of Mr. Ayuk Tabe and 46 others was illegal and they should be returned to Nigeria from Cameroon? What is the SG's comment and action on the reported burning down of Bamunkumbit in NW Cameroon by government soldiers? 

March 5-2: On Saudi Arabia, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that Saudi Arabia is moving to prosecute a group of women’s rights activists who have been detained for several months, its state news agency has announced? 

March 5-3: On CAR in light of the UN Secretariat's bragging about the Khartoum deal, and your Office's refusal to answer questions about what the outgoing SRSG told Inner City Press about UN sexual abuse and exploitation in CAR, what is the SG's comment and action on that the peace agreement in CAR, signed in early February, has been in turmoil since the establishment of a new government on Sunday: five out of the fourteen armed groups that signed it have expressed their disagreement with the new government team? 

March 5-4: On SEA, UN harrassment and impunity, what is the SG's comment and action on that on Prashanti Tiwari, on whose case Inner City Press has previously repeatedly asked your office about without answer, Bihar Police's CID has ordered the investigating officer to file a charge sheet against him.  In the FIR filed in February last year, Prashanti had also accused the UNFPA country head for India and Ena Singh of assault. What did the SG every do about this abuse? 

March 5-5: On China, what is the SG's comment and action if any on reports that  Chinese hackers have targeted more than two dozen universities in the U.S. and around the globe as part of an elaborate scheme to steal research about maritime technology being developed for military use? 

March 5-6: On Japan and due process, what is the SG's comment and action if any on Carlos Ghosn now having been detained for more than 100 days without charges? 

March 5-7: Please immediately state who, with public funds, the SG invited to eat halibut with him on March 4, and why it was not on his public schedule. Please state whether the UN considers "The Century Fund" to be a media and if so, why - and, AGAIN, 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.

March 4-2: On Haiti and the UN vehicle killing civilians that I have repeated asked your Office about without answer, now Inner City Press has been asked, " UN bus crash in Haiti. DO you know who the best person to call/email to get a response from the UN is?" Now asking you for whom they should contact, and your belated answer. 

March 4-3: On India and Pakistan, what is the SG's comment and action on a UN system Goodwill Ambassador, Priyanka Chopra, tweeting "Jai Hind" after India's airstrikes on Pakistan, and on the petition that she be removed from any UN position? 

March 4-4: What is the SG's comment and action on the BuzzFeedNews scoop that the World Wide Fund for Nature funds vicious paramilitary forces to fight poaching? 

March 4-5: On Sudan and Qatar, what is the SG's comment and action on whistleblowers telling Inner City Press that UNAMID staff improperly share information with Qatar's intelligence service? 

March 4-6: On Sudan, what is the SG's comment and action on that ICC-indicted Omar al-Bashir on Friday delegated his powers and authority as head of the ruling National Congress Party to its deputy head, Ahmed Mohamed Haroun - who is also indicted by the ICC? Again, how many times has Mr. Guterres met Bashir, and why? Has he met Ahmed Haroun? 

March 4-7: On sustainability and waste, given that all of the second floor lights at the UN residence were ablaze on March 2 while it was still daylight outside (and no DSS in front), what is the SG's policy on use of electricity in the residence, and why were all the lights on when, it appears, he was not in the residence? 

February 26-2: On sexual abuse and exploitation, beyond the if-asked information about recent cases Inner City Press has requested that your Office has refused to provide as it previously did, what is the SG's response to the criticism that his "civil society advisory group" is misnamed, not representative of civil society? 

February 26-4: On Venezuela and the the press freedom the SG spoke about in Geneva yesterday, what is his comment and action if any on the reported detention of Univision's Jorge Ramos by the authorities? AGAIN, 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 25-1: On Chad and France, on which your Office has refused to answer for three weeks, now it is alleged that the rebel group France bombed is funded by Qatar. What is the SG's comment and action, including in light of evidence UN NGO China Energy Fund Committee offered weapons for oil to Idriss Deby. Again, what is the SG's comment and action on the now second set of French airstrikes on Chad? 

February 25-2: On UN spending, DGACM and OSSC, please confirm or deny that Argentina informed DGACM is would / could not pay to fly UN interpreters business class to the upcoming OSSC meeting there, and that interpreters have been cajoled to "volunteer" to fly economy by being given additional time off, to be paid for by all member states. Also, is USG Pollard flying economy - or business class? Why? 

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