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Sept 24, 2013

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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Dujarric of UN Budget Honduras Cameroon Haiti Maldives Egypt Fleming Bans Press 800+ UNanswered

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

UNITED NATIONS GATE, Oct 14 – 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 October 14 more than two and a half hours before the noon briefing by Spokesman Stephane "French Whine" Dujarric which banned Inner City Press covered from its bus stop studios outside (here and here), after the July 26 noon briefing had no questions at all, video here, Inner City Press submitted 1276 questions, including why it continues to be lawlessly banned from entering to ask questions in person: "There are more than 800+ 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 Sept 6 (while you still withhold if-asked information about Cameroon child rape(s) in DRC),  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, 9-30 and now October 1-3, 7-11 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.

October 14-1: On the supposed UN budget tightening measures spun Friday in a briefing Inner City Press was banned from and on which its written questions have not been answered, please specifying which events would / will no longer be webcast, how the caterers operations are impacted given that it is supposedly a private business, how much is saved turning off the fountain and, again, how much it costs to have recently hired Peter Reid and Zoe Paxton and how this is not rank hypcrisy. Relatedly, where has SG Guterres been since Friday and how much has it cost? 

October 14-2: On Cameroon, Ayuk Tabe whose refoulement from Nigeria was unremarked on and unopposed by DSG Amina J. Mohammad, the SG and USG Fleming, states that in SW and NW more than 20.000 persons have been killed since 2016, 280 towns and villages have been burnt,120.000 people are seeking refuge in the Federal Republic of Nigeria with 1 million more people internally displaced in Cameroon, and that more than 4.5 million people stand the risk of famine today in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon. What are the UN's numbers, after Guterres took Biya's golden statue (where is it?) and Budget Committee favors and had Inner City Press roughed up and banned as it questioned Biya's PR Tommo Monthe outside the UN Budget Committee meeting? 

October 14-3: On Haiti and press freedom (and safety) what are the comments and actions if any of SG Guterres on the killing of radio journalist Néhémie Joseph, a reporter for the privately owned stations Radio Panic FM and Radio Méga, who was found dead in his car last night, in the Bayas area of the city of Mirebalais? The journalist had been shot several times in the head... 

October 14-4: On human rights and the Maldives, what are the comments and action if any of the SG on that on 10 October 2019, the Maldives government shut down the Maldives Democracy Network (MDN)? 

October 14-5: On press freedom and Egypt, what are the comments and actions if any of SG Guterres and separately of USG Melissa Fleming on that in Egypt say a blogger and journalist who played a significant role in the 2011 uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak has been arrested.  A fellow activist said that Esraa Abdel Fattah was picked up on Saturday night by police officers and driven away. Her whereabouts are currently unknown. Ms Fattah appeared before state prosecutors on Sunday and had said that she was "badly beaten and tortured"...

October 11-3: On Honduras on which you have refused to answer or respond to Inner City Press' as it covers in SDNY the US v Tony Hernandez trial and has asked you why SG Guterres did not even bring up corruption and drug trafficking when he met president JOH, what now are Guterres' belated comments and actions if any on that   Honduran police dispersed hundreds of demonstrators with tear gas on Wednesday in Tegucigalpa who demanded the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, suspected by the American courts of collaborating with the drug traffickers?   See, for the record on your continued lawless ban on Inner City Press asking this and other questions in person unlike state media,

Oct 10, 2019, "Giovanni Rodriguez, ex miembro de la Policía Nacional, también testifica en el caso «Tony» Hernández,"

October 10, 2019 "¡Información de primera mano! ¿Quiénes son y porqué sus #Tweets son tendencia en #Honduras?"

Oct 8, 2019, Inner City Press @ SDNY in La Prensa de Honduras, "Interrogation of the US Attorney's Office to Alexander Ardon" 

Oct 9, 2019, "Divulgan videos del interrogatorio que le hace la DEA a Tony Hernández cuando fue detenido en Miami," Radio HRN (Honduras),   

Oct 9, 2019, El Periodico (Guatemala), "Fiscalía de Nueva York presenta video de 'Tony' Hernández admitiendo conocer a narcos"

October 10-3: While SG Guterres speaks of budget shortfall and stopping paying staff please immediately confirm or deny he has hired yet another communications official, Zoe Paxton from UK DfID, and how much that and the hiring of Peter Reid you have refused to answer on have cost the public, and how this is consistent with SG Guterres' public statements. 

October 10-4: Also on the UN budget, please immediately confirm or deny and comment on reports that "Nigeria was yet to pay its 2019 annual contribution despite its headship of the UN General Assembly.  A Nigerian, Tijjani Bande, is the current president of the UNGA, and his tenure will run from September this year to September, 2020. Another Nigerian, Amina Mohammed, is the UN Deputy Secretary-General." What does SHE say? 

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 3-19: 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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