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Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Dujarric of HK Nigeria Colin Stewart DSS UN Sex Abuse CSW MaliCameroon SG Fleming MALU SG Censors 700+ UNanswered

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

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 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 August 29 more than three hours before a noon briefing by spokesman Stephane Dujarric in which he gave two rounds of "questions" to one of his partners in ousting Inner City Press, after the July 26 noon briefing had no questions at all, video here, Inner City Press submitted 1169 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 August 7 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, 8-31 and August 1-5, 8-28 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.

August 29-1: On Hong Kong and China, what are the SG's comment and actions if any on that China’s military deployed fresh troops to Hong Kong on Thursday. A long convoy of armored personnel carriers and trucks crossing the border at night and troops in formation disembarking from a ship. Earlier, scores of soldiers ran in unison onto trucks, which the state broadcaster said were bound for ports and entry points into Hong Kong. Also, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that The young organiser of the peaceful, million-strong Hong Kong marches has been attacked by masked men in a restaurant, Hong Kong police have confirmed.  Jimmy Sham, convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, the coalition behind the biggest protest marches in Hong Kong, was eating in a restaurant at lunchtime on Thursday when two masked men burst in with a baseball bat and long metal pole. 

August 29-2: On Nigeria, what are the comments and actions if any of the SG and separately DSG Amina J. Mohammed that a Federal High Court in Abuja has refused to review an appeal by Omoyele Sowore, the man behind Nigeria's #RevolutionNow movement, against his detention by the secret police.  The judge who presided over the case said she had no power to overrule a previous court ruling on the matter. Justice Evelyn Maha urged Mr Sowore and his aides to return to the judge who handled the case. 

August 29-3: Also on Nigeria, what are the comments and actions if any of the SG and separately DSG Amina J. Mohammed to the Buhari government's decision to ban food imports and now to close its border with Benin? And on the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, including against Nigerians? 

August 29-4: Regarding a statement sent yesterday by the Under Secretary General of DSS, copied to Hua Jiang and others, please immediately explain 

a) why, since DSS states that it does not have a ban / bar / block on me but only enforces that I not exercise the rights of a UN accredited journalist (which were stripped from me without any hearing or right to appeal), I have in the past year been blocked from entering the UN even with invited with a ticket, and 

b) why, since DSS states that it does not have a ban / bar / block on me but only enforces that I not exercise the rights of a UN accredited journalist (which were stripped from me without any hearing or right to appeal), my August 24 application to enter the UN like 100s of other correspondents to cover the upcoming UNGA high level week has not yet been granted, and 

c) with regard to USG Gilles Michaud writing that  "On 10 July 2018 UNDSS escorted Mr. Matthew Lee from the UNHQ complex after he attempted to gain unauthorized access to a locked area" - explain, at long last, what this "locked area" was, since it was only the (unlocked) Vienna Cafe outside the UN Budget Committee meeting which by the rules I was allowed to cover, and 

d) with regard to USG Michaud writing that the "DSS role is now limited to ensuring that unaccredited individuals do not enter the premises," how it is that tourists, and NGO visitors, who are not accredited by DPI/DGC are allowed in by DSS, but I have not been for the past year. Again, please immediately explain wny my August 24 application to enter the UN like 100s of other correspondents to cover the upcoming UNGA high level week has not yet been granted 

August 29-5: Also on access to the UN, please immediately provide the UN's response to this complaint received by Inner City Press: [ ] obtained a 501c3 which they used to get CSW status at the United Nations. The problem there is they used that status to bring in many many people to the UN grounds in NYC by getting them UN passes. More disturbing is the amount of people they traffic in to the USA with their status as CSW members by the UN General Assembly. A few years back, the Un gave them over 50 computers as a donation, in turn they shipped them to Africa for sale. 

August 29-6: Please immediately state the status of Colin Stewart, staff's allegations of harassment Inner City Press has previously asked you about. 

August 29-7: Please immediately explain how these are "UN peacekeepers" in a this public report about the Philippines: "Two United Nations peacekeepers were injured when their van collided with a truck in Lucena City, Quezon yesterday.  Lt. Kelly Stewart, 48, of the Royal Australian Air Force and Lt. Bryan Eldredge, 36, of the US military were brought to the Camp Nakar Station Hospital and Lucena United Doctors Hospital, respectively, according to Lt. Col. Dennis Cana, Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) spokesman.  The victims were with four other peacekeepers in a Toyota Hi-Ace driven by Jaworski Sanchez on their way to the Solcom headquarters when the accident occurred in Barangay Ibabang Dupay at around 9:30 a.m.  

August 29-8: On Burundi and Tanzania, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that Tanzania plans to send back Burundi refugees to their homeland soil as at October 1.

August 29-9: On UN sexual exploitation as banned Inner City Press asked each of you yesterday morning without any response, "On UN sexual exploitation and abuse - alleged - this is a request that you immediately provide the "if asked" information supplied about other cases in the past before Inner City Press was banned, about the cursory update this morning listing a SEA case by a Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) peacekeeper at MINUSCA in CAR. Also, again, what is Guterres' answer, which you refused to provide after banned Inner City Press asked you and others in writing on the morning of August 19 that you "immediately provide all if-asked and additional information about the new allegation of SEA announced at 11:01 am today, of child rape by a Cameroonian "peacekeeper" in DR Congo

August 29-10: On Mali, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that hundreds of lorries and other vehicles have been blocked from entering the capital of Mali, Bamako, on the fourth day of a protest over the poor state of the country’s roads.

August 29-11: On press freedom and impunity what is the SG's comment and action if any on the journalist Christopher Allen  killed in South Sudan two years ago. What has the UN done?

August 29-12: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action if any on that thousands of residents of Cameroon's two English-speaking regions after the life sentences given to 10 of their leaders, including Sisiku Ayuk Tabe. More than 500,000 people have been forced from their homes in the crisis.  August 29-13: On China (and Australia, and the US), what is the SG's comment and action if any on that China has detained and charged the Australian writer and pro-democracy activist Yang Hengjun with spying...

August 29-14: On the DRC, prior to the SG's visit, what is his comment and action if any on that the new cabinet in the DCRCannounced on Monday morning seven months after the inauguration of President Félix Tshisekedi, reflects the continued influence of former leader Joseph Kabila? 

August 29-15: On China, Hong Kong and Weibo that UN partners with, what is Guterres' comment and action if any on that Xu Xiaodong has paid another price for speaking out in support of Hong Kong people during the ongoing protests – this time on social media.

August 29-16: For the UN conference Aug 26-28 in Utah, please immediately state the cost, including the assessment of carbon emissions for the travel to Utah. How is outgoing USG Smale traveling there? What is her last day in the position? And is Melissa Fleming no longer the spokesperson for UNHCR? 

August 29-17: On the repatriation of Rohingya from Bangladesh to Myanmar, what is Guterres' position on the system that will give returnees non citizen, "Bengali" ID cards?  What did Guterres do on this while at UNHCR? 

August 29-19: In light of the death of Jeffrey Epstein, now on August 27 multiply accused of sex trafficking along with Ghislaine Maxwell who was allowed to promote her now closed charity in the UN Press Briefing Room, as Inner City Press asked without any UN response on July 22, please immediately disclose all UN interactions with his Ghislaine Maxwell's TerraMar Project and relatedly, with Paolo Zampolli. 

August 29-20:   state when exactly Ms. Fleming takes over from Alison Smale, whether Ms. Fleming is still has stated on her profile at UNHCR (Chief Communications  @Refugees as of August 27) and if she is answering some/any of her e-mail there. She is being written to there was a second time today, well before the Sept 5 deadline for UN "approval" to cover UNGA week. 

August 29-21: On press freedom and Cameroon, on which you refused to answer on August 13 despite saying the office was staffed and answering, now more specific: what is the SG's comment and action if any, post golden statue, to that Paul Atanga Nji, territorial administration minister, says Cameroon's journalists are becoming highly unpatriotic.  "They have one main objective, just to sabotage government action, to promote secessionist tendencies," said Nji. "I urge them to be responsible. Those who do not want to respect the laws will be booked as being recalcitrant and will be treated as such"... 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, here. 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 - and respond that Inner City Press on August 24 applied like 100s or 1000s of others to cover the upcoming UNGA high level week, including now formally offering to answer any questions the UN / DSS might have, having been vetted and accredited elsewhere since, as both USG DSS Michaud and MALU have formally been timely informed -- and how it is possible that a media that closely covers and uncovers the UN could be denied entry, other than (SG) censorship. 

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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