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Sept 24, 2013

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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Dujarric of Cameroon Uighurs Ireland Sex Abuse UNON Fleming Banning Press MALU SG Censors 700+ UNanswered

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

UNITED NATIONS GATE, Sept 6 – Inner City Press on 5 July 2018 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' Department of Global Communication issued a letter banning Inner City Press from the UN - for life. With no due process. Guterres has 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 September 6 more than three hours before a noon briefing by Spokesman Stephane Dujarric at which he said Guterres is sending a letter of condolence about Robert Mugabe, after the July 26 noon briefing had no questions at all, video here, Inner City Press submitted 1193 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, 8-30, Sept 3-5 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.

September 6-1: On UN sexual exploitation and abuse - alleged - as I asked you in writing yesterday afternoon with no response (please note that the public does not pay you in order to cover up UN child rapes by refusing to answer basic question and withholding if-asked information the UN has) this is a request that you immediately provide ... the "granular" information that was promised today at noon to correspondents who barely ask or publish about this topic. 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, and a separate child rape and also sexual exploitation by Gabonese peacekeers in CAR, as well as the previously unanswned question about exploitation by Tanzanian peacekeeper - and also why previously published charges are no longer in the data to which UN Peacekeeping Conduct and Discipline points, including what if being done for these victims and any steps taken to avoid this constant repetition of abuse despite the SG's ostensible commitments. Again, are new allegations being buried elsewhere on the data page? Inner City Press is asking in writing because banned from the noon briefings and any follow up questions, now for more than a year. On August 24 Inner City Press re-applied for admission to cover the UNGA high level week; on August 30 it was summarily rejected, with no or only Kafka-esque reasoning.

September 6-2: In light of the charges of sexual abuse against Cameroon peacekeepers on which you have refused to answer Inner City Press' questions, what is the SG's explanation of that Cameroon is dispatching more than a thousand troops to help bring peace to its troubled neighbor, the Central African Republic. The troops are leaving as analysts say they are already stretched handling such internal crises as piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, the Boko Haram insurgency and the separatist crisis that has left at least 3,000 killed in three years. The Cameroon military band plays as the first contingent of over 300 peacekeeping troops leaves for the neighboring Central African Republic on September 4. Cameroon’s defense minister, Joseph Beti Assomo, said they have been well trained to join the U.N. peacekeeping mission. What training? What accountability? 

September 6-3: On privacy - and again, Inner City Press' questions about USG Fleming's tweeting of a refugee girl's and family's personal information - what are her and the SG's comments and action on that The Irish Government’s handling of concerns over their Public Services Card (PSC) scheme have been sharply criticised by a group of international privacy and technology experts from Kenya, India and the US.  In Dublin for a conference on privacy and information rights co-organised by ICCL, the tech experts also condemned the “outrageous decision” to refuse to publish the Data Protection Commissioner’s recent findings on the scheme.  Faith Kirui, IT and Procurement Officer at the KHRC said: “This appears to be a very serious attack on the privacy rights of Irish people. The Kenyan Human Rights Commission stands alongside our colleagues at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties in their demands for the government to respect the rights by the Irish people.”     Elizabeth Farries, ICCL’s information rights and programme manager, said: “This is a worrying and possibly unprecedented scenario where a statutory body has conducted a two-year investigation on the public’s behalf and the Government is not only hiding that report from public view, but now it seems it intends to spend public money to challenge its findings.”  Daniel Kahn Gillmor, technology expert at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said: “Ireland is a critical global location as it hosts significant points of presence for major Internet corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others. So Irish choices about data governance, stewardship, and regulation have a serious impact.  “We should celebrate when the Irish Data Protection Commission issues important privacy-preserving findings, like those about the Public Services Card. And it is very troubling that the Irish government would consider undermining that office as the Commission works to defend the rights of people subject to its oversight.” 

September 6-4: On China, Xinjiang and UN censorship, please immediately confirm and explain that an appeal to UN chief Guterres was rejected. Eric Tistounet, Chief of the Human Rights Council Branch at the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said  the UN has the right to "intervene" to prevent written submissions which include "personal attacks," and that in doing so the UN is "not censoring anybody." Who decided when a complaint about mass abuse, as in Anglophone Cameroon, should be blocked by the UN, and questions not answered?

September 5-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's belated comment and action if any post golden statue on that Cameroon opposition politicians Maurice Kamto, the runner-up in last year's presidential election, goes on trial Friday in a military court accused of insurrection? Kamto, together with several dozen of his political allies and supporters, faces charges of insurrection, hostility to the motherland and rebellion, crimes which, in theory at least, could carry the death penalty... Separately, on that several businesses in Cameroon have been fined by the government and had their licenses withdrawn after they obeyed a lockdown imposed by separatists.  Kumba City Council says the businesses will be reopened once the owners pay a fine of 25,000 CFA francs? 

September 5-2: On West Papua, what is the SG's belated comment and action if any on that Indonesian police on Wednesday said a human rights lawyer spread information on Twitter that incited violent protests in the restive Papua region?  The country’s police also said foreign entities – but did not name any – were meddling in the violent protests in Papua... 

September 5-4: On UN opacity, please immediately state: where IS Workneh Gebeyehu Negewo, whom SG Guterres back on 8 March 2019 named as director general of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. Inner City Press' sources in Kenya tell it he has STILL not been seen there. Why has the UN of Guterres said nothing? 

September 4-6: On UNRWA, what is the SG's response to the Swedish comment that Krähenbühl, appointed a colleague who he was romantically involved with as adviser. “It is awful to abuse UN resources. The leadership of the UN agency UNRWA should be replaced if the allegations are true”, says Peter Eriksson, Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation.  September 4-7: What is the SG's comment and action on his USG Melissa Fleming publishing the personal identifying information of a refugee girl and her family, which publication is illegal under a number of countries' (and courts') laws? Has OIOS "taken note" of it? 

September 4-8: Immediately explain the single lawless line from MALU on 30 August 2019: "Greetings Matthew Lee from Inner City Press, Your media accreditation request, with reference no: M5413398, has been declined for the following reason: Media accreditation was withdrawn on 17 August 2018." This is a formal request for the UN's explanation of grounds for this denial. And a demand for answer to these questions, which MALU has declined to answer:  Who made the decision?  Where is the list of those accredited by [MALU]?  What and to whom is the process of appeal? 

September 3-3: On Cameroon, what is the SG's belated comment and action if any post golden statute to that ten leaders of the separatist Ambazonia Interim Government in Cameroon lodged an appeal on August 26, 2019, against their August 20 convictions and life sentences by a military court following a trial that raises serious concerns of due process and violations of fair-trial rights.  All the alleged evidence against the men was only presented to the defense in court during a single 17-hour overnight hearing that started on August 19. The court admitted thousands of pages of statements and documents as evidence against the accused and over 1,000 items of forensic evidence, such as guns, spears, and laptops. Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and nine other leaders had been arrested in January 2018 in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and forcibly returned to Cameroon, in an extrajudicial transfer - what did Guterres, or Melissa Fleming, do on that? 

September 3-16 On Hong Kong, what is the SG's comment and action on the Hong Kong government failing to submit the long overdue human rights report to the United Nations. Signatories to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are required to ensure that basic civil and political rights are protected. The covenant is applicable to Hong Kong as delineated in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the city's Basic Law.

September 3-8: On UNSC member Kuwait, what are the SG's belated comments and actions if any on that more than a dozen Bidun activists detained in Kuwait since July 2019 began a hunger strike on August 22 to protest human rights violations against themselves and the Bidun community

September 3-9: On Cameroon and press freedom, what are the SG's belated comments and actions if any on that Amadou Vamoulke, the head of the Cameroon Radio Television for nine years in which he repeatedly spoke out against the government’s monopoly on television coverage and the criminalization of media workers, officially arrested and detained at the Yaounde Kondengui Prison in 2016? 

September 3-10: Again, regarding the statement sent on August 28 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 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 

September 3-11: Also on access to the UN, please immediately provide the UN's response to this complaint received by Inner City Press: Mamadou Sy and Assetou Sy living in NYCHA Dyckman houses at 3716 10th Avenue apartment 4A ny ny 10034 running an organization Called “ USA Mali charitable association of New York” also known as UMACA.  They obtained a 501c3 through me 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. 

September 3-12: 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. 

September 3-17: 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. 

September 3-19: 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"... 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, 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? Immediately explain the single lawless line from MALU on 30 August 2019: "Greetings Matthew Lee from Inner City Press, Your media accreditation request, with reference no: M5413398, has been declined for the following reason: Media accreditation was withdrawn on 17 August 2018." 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 Fleming have not even responded... 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 quesions 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.

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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