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At UN, DRC Sexual Abuse Ladsous Covered UP Privatized by UNCA

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 28 -- Why do some events or speakers inside the UN building get shunted off into a private club, not filmed or webcast by UN Television, while others are in public?

   On April 29, there are open UN Press Briefing Room press conferences by two governments -- Ukraine at 2:30 and Argentina at 3:30 -- and one non-governmental group, the opposition Syrian Coalition, at 5:30 pm.

  This last, because not by a government, needed to be sponsored by a government and was: by the UK Mission to the UN. Similarly earlier this week there was a press conference about how to better select the next Secretary General, sponsored by Liechtenstein.

  Why then would a noted Congolese doctor, describing sexual abuse in Eastern Congo -- something that the UN and its head of Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous helped cover up in the case of over 100 rapes by the Congolese Army in Minova in November 2012 -- be shunted off into the private club of the so-called UN Correspondents Association, publicized only to those who pay UNCA money?

  More troublingly, UNCA and its board members have tried to get the investigative Press, which along with the new Free UN Coalition for Access challenged and still challenges Ladsous on his cover up of rapes in Darfur as well as Minova, thrown out of the UN.  Is this the right venue, including on the criteria of trying to make the information widely available?

  If any member state asked for the UN Press Briefing Room, the Congolese doctor and his two co-panelists could hold their press conference open to all, webcast to the world. Was no country willing to do it? (Ladsous refused to answer Inner City Press' question about what UN Peacekeeping and MONUSCO did for the doctor's clinic, when the government of Joseph Kabila froze its bank account, video here).

 Did UNCA, now the UN's Censorship Alliance, not explain this? We may have more on this - after covering the Security Council's simultaneous meeting about the crack down in Burundi. Watch this site.


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