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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Haq of Mauritania UNCDF Cameroon Geldof CAR Azerbaijan Censorship 700+ UNanswered

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

UNITED NATIONS GATE, July 23 – 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 23 more than two hours before the UN noon briefing by Deputy Farhan Haq before which he refused to answer written questions about UN child rape in DRC, here -- Dujarric is away on vacation for the whole month of July -- Inner City Press submitted 1057 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, 8-22 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 23-1: On Mauritania, what is the SG's belated comment and action if any on that   Mauritanian authorities detained for a week without charge at least three pro-opposition public figures to silence dissent over the outcome of the June 22 presidential election. Authorities arrested activist Samba Thiam on June 25 at his home in Nouakchott. On June 23, Thiam publicly denounced election results as fraudulent and authorities’ response to protests as excessive via his Facebook page.  Seidi Moussa Camara, a journalist, said plain-clothes security agents detained him at home in Nouakchott on June 26, confiscating his passport, various documents, three computers, two mobile phones, and the phones of six other people there. Camara is an ally of the anti-slavery group Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA). Early on July 3, security agents arrested Ahmedou Ould Wedia, a well-known journalist with Mauritania’s Al-Mourabitoun television channel, at his home in Nouakchott. On July 9, a regional court in Kaedi, on the Senegal river, sentenced CVE activists Amadou Mamoudou Athie, Oumar Doro Sy, Mamadou Abou Diallo, Abou Lome, Amadou Koumba, and an IRA activist, Moussa Diobayrou Konate, to six months in prisonAuthorities in Aleg, east of Nouakchott, are detaining Oumar Bachir Dia, Adama Souleymane Bass, Mamadou Hamadi Niang, Ali Amadou Ba, and Abdoul Guey. What does the SG say and more inportantly do, given his UN DSS' recording of unaccountability? 

July 23-2: On UN corruption and cover ups, as Inner City Press asked in writing yesterday without any response from your Office / the SG, what is the SG's belated comment and action if any on the fact underlying Inner City Press' July 21 exclusive regarding Somalia and Somaliland, including a cover up under the fig leaf of "respect the hierarchy," and inaction by UN headquarters, now picked up here  

July 23-3: On Cameroon, as Inner City Press asked your Office / the SG yesterday in writing without any answer at all after the SG took Biya's golden statue and UN Budget Committee favors, what are the comments and actions if any from him and separately DSG Amina J. Mohammed on the protests yesterday by those Ambazonians illegally detained in Kondengui Central Prison? 

July 23-4: On the death of a UN peacekeeper from Bangladesh in CAR, where is the SG's comment and action on that Atiqul Islam died in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Sunday? 

July 23-5: On tax avoidance and international aid, what is the SG's comment and acction on that Bob Geldof's 8 Miles, which invests exclusively in African startups, began setting up subsidiaries in Mauritius, a tax haven in the Indian Ocean that is more than 2,000 miles from London. The company’s draft business plan, which was reviewed by Quartz, explain one of the main reasons for that: “Mauritius is an offshore jurisdiction with a wide network of double taxation treaties in interesting markets.” 8 Miles, it seems, was trying to avoid taxes that would have otherwise gone to the African governments and people the company aimed to help? 

July 23-6: On press freedom and Azerbaijan, the day after their "National Press Day," what is the SG's belated comment and action if any on that Seymur Hazi. He was a leading columnist for the opposition newspaper Azadlig, and an anchor for the pro-opposition, online television channel Azarbayjan Saati (Azerbaijan Hour). Hazi’s been in prison since August 2014, serving a five-year term on trumped-up hooliganism charges. Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli is brought to the court after he has been abducted in Georgia and forcibly taken to neighboring Azerbaijan where he was detained in custody. Others, like Shahvalad Chobanoghlu and Babak Bakir, remain under travel bans without any official explanation...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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