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Sept 24, 2013

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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Dujarric of Cameroon China Indonesia Thailand South Sudan UNOV French SG Censorship 500+ UNanswered

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

UNITED NATIONS GATE, May 24 – 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 May 24 more than two hours before a UN noon briefing in which Dujarric solicited softball questions for his fellow Frenchman Jean-Pierre LaCroix, Inner City Press submitted 872 questions, including why it continues to be lawlessly banned from entering to ask questions in person: "There are more than 500+ questions UNanswered. And Monday Sept 17, Tuesday Sept 18, Wed Sept 19 and  Thurs and Fri Sept 21, that whole week, no questions answered. Nor Sept 25, nor 28th - nor October 2 nor 3. While appreciating and using what was belatedly sent on May 20 about sexual exploitation allegations and on March 28 in partial request to Inner City Press' questions about the UN bribery sentence of Patrick Ho of CEFC and CEFC's 2018 attempt to buy the oil company of Gulbenkian Foundation which paid the SG, 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. 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 nor 15 nor 18 nor 19 nor 20 nor 21 nor 22 nor 25 nor 26 nor 27 nor March 1 - 27 (!) And now April 1, 3-30 (one answer in the entire month - corrupt), and now May 1-13, 15-17, 21-23, many questions. 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.

May 24-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that on May 15, Paul Biya's soldiers burned over 70 homes in Mankon, Bamenda. Soldiers dragged one man from his house, shooting him dead in the street. They killed Nwacha Christopher Neba, a 41-year-old mechanic, and burned down scores of private homes and shops across Alachu, Matsam, and Muwatsu. On May 17, the governor of the North-West region established a bogus commission to identify victims from the “incident” in Mankon and evaluate their needs, the humanitarian situation, and the material damage and property destroyed. The commission is scheduled to submit its report by May 24. Again, answer Inner City Press's many many UNanswered questions, including on this: alternate Member of Parliament Essomba Bengono just after the UNSC meeting said on TV, "Do you know how many times God had to wipe out the human race to constitute a people?" 

May 24-2: On China, what is the SG's comment and action if any - including in light of his still undisclosed connection to CEFC China Energy through its bid for Gulbenkian Foundation's oil company, on that Developed and sold by the China Electronics Technology Corporation, a state-run defense manufacturer, the system in Kashgar is on the cutting edge of what has become a flourishing new market for technology that the government can use to monitor and subdue millions of Uighurs and members of other Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang?    

May 24-3: On Indonesia, beyond Inner City Press' May 23 and previous UNanswered questions about West Papua, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that Police confirmed on Wednesday evening the arrest of nearly 260 protesters participating in the May 22 rally against the result of last month's presidential election, after rioting broke out at three locations in Central and West Jakarta.  They were arrested outside the offices of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) and in Gambir, both in Central Jakarta, and in Petamburan, West Jakarta? 

May 24-4: As the SG heads to Vienna, please immediately state his position on the many UN sexual harassment issues at UNOV, on which banned Inner City Press has previously asked you (without response) and reported on e-mails leaked it it for example: "Mr Zabaar said the Metoo Movement is in conflict with the UN code of conduct" and "Ms Kuleshnyk compared the name of the Club with an hypothetical Club named Osama Bin Laden." A cover letter recites that " Mr Guterres had a staff meeting in the VIC on May 14, 2018, and Monica publicly asked him for his support in a question. Mr Guterres reserved his reply." What is the SG's position? And provide in writing updates on and read-out from this most recent trip. 

May 24-4a: Separately, state today whether the SG is stopping over in Lisbon either on his way to UNOV or thereafter, and if so at what cost to the public, including security costs. 

May 24-5: On South Sudan, what is the SG's comment and action if any on Salva Kiir saying, "We will not accept chaos in our country… So, the youth must always avoid social media campaigns from abroad to stage protests. When you are being urged to protest against the government from abroad, don’t they know that people may die in the protests? If the government closes its mind and mows you down with automatic weapons. Why do you want to die for no apparent reason?” 

May 24-6: On Thailand, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that Thailand's constitutional court on Thursday temporarily barred the leader of a popular anti-junta party from parliament a day before it convenes, putting the brakes on his political career as it agreed to hear a case against him? The dramatic intervention is the latest blow against billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and his youth-oriented Future Forward Party, which stunned the military establishment by securing over six million votes in March 24 elections but has been squeezed by more than a dozen legal cases 

May 24-7: On press freedom, again, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that now eight journalists have been summoned for questioning by France’s domestic intelligence services, including five new summonses revealed Wednesday, prompting outcry from press freedom advocates.  Ariane Chemin, who broke the story that senior Macron security aide Alexandre Benalla had been filmed beating a protester while wearing a police helmet, was called in for questioning by the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) over her revelations in what became known as the Benalla affair. Chemin and Dreyfus were told by the DGSI to appear on May 29. The investigation specifically concerns details the paper published about former air force officer Chokri Wakrim. What is the SG's comment on Assange being indicted under the Espionage Act?  What is each of yours - particularly the SG's - response to the letter written and sent by Burundi activist Manisha Lievin? To the April 15 letter to the SG, DSG and USG Smale for which receipt has not even been acknowledged, other than a single lawless line from MALU: "Your media accreditation request, with reference no: M66561081, has been declined"? This is a formal request for the UN's explanation of grounds for this denied, and since SGcentral, the SG's chief of staff and Deputy SG and USG Smale haven't even confirmed receipt of the April 15 letter much less responded, for reconsideration. 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.

May 16-2: On Sudan, what is the SG's comment and action if any that the new interim vice president, Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagolo, was in charge of the janjaweed militias in Darfur? 

May 15-3: On the Public Financial Disclosures for 2017 belatedly published over the weekend of April 27-28, please state why Mohammed Ibn Chambas, like the Executive Secretary of the UN Biodiversity Convention, Cristiana Paşca-Palmer, UNICEF's Henriette Fore, with documented links to ExxonMobil and others, USG Mark Lowcock (undisclosed while the Secretariat's speaker at the UNSC Arria on Cameroon), UNCTAD's Mukhisa Kituyi, UN Women's Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UNOG chief Michael Moller, UNDP chief Achim Steiner,  Heidi Mendoza, Adama Dieng, UN Security chief Peter Drennan, Rosemary DiCarlo and Nicholas Haysum, is not even on the list. OIOS chief Inga-Britt Ahlenius reported - why not Mendoza? Where IS Mendoza? Isn't it a bad practice for the UN's head (anti) genocide definition official to conceal from the public even cursory financial disclosure? Did DiCarlo decline to make any public disclosure despite being the UN's top political officer? What is the even plausible applicability of this line from SG Guterres' web page: "Please note that given the multi-cultural environment of the UN and the often security sensitive locations where UN staff are either working or come from, full public disclosure may not always be a viable or sensible option for certain staff members"? Why has Guterres changed the previous system in a which a "choosing not to disclose" statement was upload and listed, to one which helps conceal who reports and who does not?  Again, state why considering the UN bribery conviction of Patrick Ho of CEFC, and CEFC's attempt to purchase the oil company of Gulbenkian Foundation which paid Mr. Guterres in 2016 was omitted from his online public financial disclosure covering 2016, and why Guterres has not even started an audit of CEFC in the UN. 

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