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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Haq of South Sudan Gen Uganda Rwanda Cameroon Charlemagne Vietnam SG Censorship 500+ UNanswered

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

UNITED NATIONS GATE, May 29 – 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 29 more than two hours before the UN noon briefing, Inner City Press submitted 881 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, 21-28, 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 29-1: On South Sudan, UNSC sanctions and war crimes, please explain UN Radio Miraya's tweet that "We salute the bravery and professionalism displayed by #UNMISS peacekeepers in #SouthSudan " - Dep Minister of Defence Lt Gen Malek Reuben Riak at #PKDay celebrations."   What was his role in the PK Day events? Why did Radio Miraya quote him? The question is in light of the UNSC sanctions listing: "SSi.007 Name: 1: MALEK 2: REUBEN 3: RIAK 4: RENGU... As SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Riak was one of the senior officials of the Government of South Sudan who planned and oversaw an offensive in Unity state in 2015 that resulted in widespread destruction and large population displacement." 

May 29-2: On Uganda and Rwanda, what is the SG's belated comment and action if any on reports that Uganda’s security operatives have arrested two Rwandan nationals alleged to have entered the country illegally to gather intelligence? 

May 29-3: On the use of public funds, and transparency, given that you've only said SG will "travel on to Aachen in Germany, from 29 to 30 May to receive the International Charlemagne Prize, an honour which has been awarded anually since 1950 for efforts made in the service of European unification.       The Secretary-General will be back in the office on Monday, 3 June" - where will the SG be from May 30 to June 3, separately, at what cost to the public including security costs? 

May 29-4: On press freedom and Vietnam, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that independent journalist Truong Duy Nhat was abducted in Bangkok, Thailand a day after he registered for refugee status and requested asylum at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and is being held without charges at Hanoi’s T-16 detention center under the authority of the Ministry of Public Security? And that Vietnamese authorities arrested and sentenced videographer Nguyen Van Hoa to seven years in prison and three years of house arrest for publishing videos from a public demonstration protesting a government response to an environmental disaster. Blogger and journalist Le Anh Hung was arrested after criticizing the country’s repressive cybersecurity laws, and remains in detention to this day.  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 28-2: On today's UN system's failure to protect whistleblowers, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that decision from Geneva in Emma Reilly's case that "In the present case, any determination made by the Tribunal in relation to the application in Case No. UNDT/GVA/2017/052 as to the lawfulness of the press release, if the application is found receivable, would not be determinative of the issue as to whether the High Commissioner abused his authority in publishing the press release, as the Applicant alleges in her complaint. 56. Finally, the letter of 11 January 2018 appears to be an ex post facto justification for the delay in processing the Applicant’s complaint, following the filing of her request for management evaluation. This letter came almost ten months after the Applicant submitted her complaint and six months after she filed her application before the Tribunal in Case No. UNDT/GVA/2017/052. It is also noted that the Respondent has vehemently challenged the receivability ratione materiae of the application in Case No. UNDT/GVA/2017/052 insofar as it concerns the press release, arguing that this does not constitute an administrative decision. It is contradictory for the Secretary-General to argue, on the one hand, that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to examine the Applicant’s application in Case No. UNDT/GVA/2017/052 and, on the other hand, to defer the consideration of her complaint on the basis of awaiting the outcome of an allegedly irreceivable application? 

May 28-3: On Cameroon, AGAIN, 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 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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