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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Haq of Ethiopia Stewart Hochschild Gulbenian Cameroon Nigeria SG Censorship 600+ UNanswered

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

UNITED NATIONS GATE, July 18 – 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 July 18 three hours before the UN noon briefing by Deputy Farhan Haq - Dujarric is away on vacation for the whole month of July -- Inner City Press submitted 1046 questions, including why it continues to be lawlessly banned from entering to ask questions in person: "There are more than 700+ 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, 21-31, June 3-28, and July 1-2, 8-17 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. 

July 18-1: On Ethiopia, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that residents of the southern Ethiopian city of Hawassa, where there has been tension over the declaration of a new regional state, have heard shots being fired?  Earlier this week, activists from the Sidama people said they would declare the new state on Thursday - a year to the day after the idea of a referendum on the new state was approved by the authorities.  The referendum, which should have been held within 12 months, has been delayed. In one area of Hawassa, Alamura, security forces have fired tear gas to disperse youths, witnesses say.  An eye witness told me he saw about 50 youths with rocks.  The mobile internet connection has now been shut down. 

July 18-2: On sexual harassment and the Colin Stewart question Inner City Press asked Guterres and you in writing including a week ago (July11-2) without any answer at all, what now is the SG's response and action if any on this report crediting Inner City Press and also reporting on Fabrizio Hochschild, here: "The case involving Stewart, which has been exposed by Inner City Press, is based on allegations against the Canadian former politician who was political director of the Addis Ababa UN office, which is believed to involve a number of young Ethiopian staff members. Stewart, 58, was working there between 2011 and 2016. In December 2017, Guterres announced that Stewart would head the UN mission in Western Sahara.  Guterres is, according to Inner City Press - which his own officials have banned from entering the UN’s New York building for a year for exposing the corruption - as being torn between re-opening the cases against Stewart or sweeping them under the carpet and extending his contract with MINURSO.  The agency blasts Guterres as culpable of “doublespeak, harassment and hypocrisy” as its journalists believe that he plans to go ahead with the cover-up, which is in line with his usual response to similar scandals involving allegations of sexual misconduct. In the New York headquarters of the UN itself, the Portuguese UN chief actually promoted a Chilean official who was also charged with sexual misconduct, to the prestigious job of “special advisor” to Guterres himself.  Matthew R Lee, Editor of the news Inner City Press, was recently roughed up by UN security guards and was banned from re-entering the building (despite working from it for 10 years) simply for asking tough questions and exposing the Stewart case – which he insists is backed up by witnesses in Addis Ababa...

July 18-3: On UN and SG corruption, because you have entirely refused to answer Inner City Press' questions (other than with rough-up and ban), please immediately provide and UN's and SG's response to this report published and re-published today: Inner City Press "says that the Guterres wants to make an example of the journalist who has pointed the finger at him and accused him of being involved, still to this day, with the Lisbon-based Gulbenkian Foundation, which was paying him until his appointment as UN chief in January 2017.  Lee, remarkably, claims that unlike previous UN chiefs whose families were tarnished by corruption, Guterres has taken this trend to the next level.  “Under Antonio Guterres, things have gotten exponentially worse,” he says. “I think it is because some of the corruption is personal to Guterres, whereas with Ban Ki-moon [and Kofi Annan] it was about relatives. Ban had a nephew who used the UN to make money - but Guterres took money from the Lisbon-based Gulbenkian Foundation,” he explains.   The Portuguese organisation, although appearing to be philanthropic, also has massive investments around the world and its move in February 2018 to sell its energy firm Partex to the Chinese would incriminate Guterres, because former Hong Kong minister Patrick Ho – who was jailed for three years for bribing African officials at the UN – was believed to be the chief ‘negotiator’ of the deal.  Although the deal didn’t come off, any link made by mainstream media between Ho’s involvement and Gulbenkian would be deeply embarrassing for the UN chief and would probably lead to his resignation.  “Guterres took money from the Lisbon-based Gulbenkian Foundation, including in 2016 for which he omitted the Gulbenkian payments from his financial disclosure form covering 2016,” claims Lee. “This is significant because Gulbenkian sought to sell its oil company Partex Oil to CEFC China Energy, whose Patrick Ho was convicted of UN bribery [including of Uganda's Foreign Minister Kutesa] in the SDNY Federal Court,” says Lee." 

July 18-4: On press freedom and Nigeria, what are the comment and actions of SG Guterres and, separately, DSG Amina J Mohammed on that "In May 2019, Nigeria’s security agents once again detained and charged journalist Jones Abiri for crimes of sabotage, terrorism and cybercrimes that they say he committed in 2016.   The government has targeted Abiri as the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Weekly Source, a daily in the oil-rich state of Bayelsa in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.   His travails at the hands of security agents represent the height of Nigeria’s state repression of free speech and press freedom. Nigerian leaders have consistently activated various laws to target critics and journalists such as Abiri"... Now that the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled against public officials blocking critics on Twitter even if the official claims their account is private, what is the justification for UNSG Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, with the UN flag in his profile photo and Guterres promoting content, blocking Inner City Press? What is SG Guterres' response / reaction to UN DSS and Guterres' actions on Inner City Press being listed in the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. In the UN, what has the accountability been for Lt Ronald E. Dobbins and those those refused on camera to give their names? 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.

June 14-5: Since the SG claimed publicly that the mansion he lives in "cannot" be sold, please immediately provide any and all documents with such a restriction, and separately explain why the concept of cy pres or reformation of donor intent has not been explored. Separately,  Boutros Boutros Galli wrote in his book that the building was given by Arthur Houghton through the United Nations Association of the USA. What actual inquires, with UNA-USA or any successor to Houghton or Corning Glass, has Guterres made? 

June 11-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action if any on this report from Chinese state media: "YAOUNDE, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Cameroon's House Speaker of National Assembly Cavaye Yeguie Djibril on Monday denounced foreign interference in the country's internal affairs which he referred to as "conspiracy."  "Cameroon has become an object of conspiracy intended to destabilize the country. To justify their interference in internal affairs, the conspirators pretend to denounce it." Again, how many offices / desk does the Secretariat give to Chinese state media inside the UN? 

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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