Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg CJR, Independent, Fox, New Statesman, AJE, FP, NYT CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

More: InnerCityPro

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UN Correspondents Association Takes Equatorial Guinea Off Camera As It Tortures Opponent Elo Ayeto

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT CEFC Video

UNITED NATIONS GATE, March 13 – How lawless is the United Nations of Secretary General Antonio Guterres? In the midst of Inner City Press' questioning in 2018 about Guterres' links to now convicted UN bribery Patrick Ho's China Energy Fund Committee, which paid former President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa and had a contract with PGA Vuk Jeremic, and Guterres' failures on Cameroon and elsewhere, his UN Security twice roughed up Inner City Press on June 22 and July 3, 2018, see below.

 Now tellingly the UN's partner in censorship has been bragging about getting an end of UNSC presidency press conference moved out of the UN Press Briefing Room where it would be on UN Television to its own clubhouse. And then, even with a delay, they never put this video on line, their cavorting with a country in which "Mr. Elo Ayeto, the founder of Somos +, an organization that engages the youth to challenge corruption and human rights abuses, was in the midst of an online campaign denouncing the a corrupt deals between the government and the Catholic church. On February 25, the Director of Presidential Security, Mr. Braulio Bakale Ondo, and six additional officers stormed into Mr. Elo Ayeto’s home, confiscated his phone, camera and computer and took him to the Central Police station..   On February 26, Mr. Brauilio Bakale Ondo and other police officers tortured Mr. Elo Ayeto, in an effort to compel him to confess that he knew about a coup plot between two political opposition leaders. In the end, unable to extract that confession, his torturers falsely accused him of plotting a coup against President Obaing. The judge, on March 1, ignoring Mr. Elo Ayetos’s terrible health sue to the torture, ordered his preventive detention, which in Equatorial Guinea allows the state to hold someone indefinitely without charge or evidence. That same night Mr. Elo was brutally beaten again in Black Beach prison.   On Monday March 11, the judge summoned Mr. Elo Ayeto to declare in front of his lawyers and the court clerk. It was at this hearing that his lawyers learned that during the police interrogation on February 25, Mr. Bakale Ondo put one of Mr. Elo Ayeto’s classmates, whom the police claimed was their key witness—on the speakerphone. The classmate stated that all she said was that Mr. Elo Ayeto tried to persuade their work group in class to draft a report that criticizes the government for channeling 200 million CFA Francs to the Catholic church, instead of devoting those funds to improve education or healthcare.       Throughout his detention the prison guards have refused to allow family members and lawyers to visit Mr. Elo Ayeto, and he has not seen a medical professional or receive any medical assistance despite being tortured twice.    According to his lawyers, Mr. Elo Ayeto is being kept in a deplorable and unsanitary prison conditions. He shares a small 2m by 2m cell with six other inmates. That is where they eat, go to the bathroom and sleep." We'll have more on this. They brag that Equatorial Guinea, which has had the same president for more than 30 years, has agreed to this reduction in public transparency and they hope it will be a trend. Here now the promotion, followed by what is actually happening in Equatorial Guinea. The media organization which are part of this white wash of repression - including not only Xinhua but also AFP and Reuters, should be embarrassed: "Dear colleagues,  As part of its 2019 events program, UNCA is launching a new series to invite the current President of the Security Council for an informal “wrap-up” discussion with the UN press corps at the end of each month.  H.E. Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba, Permanent Representative of Equatorial Guinea to the UN and President of the Council for February, will kick-off the new series tomorrow, Tuesday, February 26th at 1:30 pm in the UNCA meeting room.   Members are encouraged to participate in the discussion.  The event is open to all UN correspondents.  Valeria Robecco President, United Nations Correspondents Association." And now this: "the arbitrary arrest of activist Joaquin Elo Ayeto, and calls on the government of Equatorial Guinea to release him, immediate and unconditionally.  According his lawyer,  Angel Obama, Mr. Elo was arrested at 6:00 am this morning by seven armed security officers. He was taken by the officers in an official security vehicle.   Mr. Obama visited him at the central jail known as “Guantánamo,” where he was interrogated while handcuffed. Mr. Obama learned that Mr. Elo was being held for making a comment about the ongoing country-wide tour of President Obiang. No official charges have been pressed, and no witnesses have come forward. Mr. Elo professed that the security officers who detained him stated he would be tortured to extract a confession.    This is the third time the Equatoguinean government arrests Mr. Elo Ayeto in retaliation for his critical stand against the Obiang regime." This is today's UN.

  The rest of the UN Correspondents Association minutes - the annual meeting, despite the UN saying it accredits thousands, had a total attendance of 56 -- say, "2018 UNCA Awards Budget: Valeria reported a great successful gala with more than 570 guests in attendance. The honorees--Amal Clooney and Adrian Grenier—were a big draw, bringing in more than $420,000, securing a healthy balance forward for 2019. Preparation is underway to confirm a December date, preferably on a Friday at Cipriani, but that depends on the SG’s availability (possibility of December 6th in the works). Giampaolo explained the total income from the gala generated a record-breaking positive balance. He also solicited input and help from the general membership to attract new sponsors and pointed to the positive cooperation with the Dag Hammarskjold Fund for Journalists that continues in its second year. Of the total UNCA Awards income, UNCA members (who bought tickets at $100) brought in $21,500, various missions, $20,000, tables, $296,500, individual tickets, $17,800 and prizes sponsorship, $65,000. 2018 UNCA General Budget: The UNCA general budget generated more than $30,215.01, with $24,215.01 coming from membership dues, (30 New members and 192 renewing members), and $6,000 from directory advertising. Expenses were $26,475.19, but more financial sources are needed to support all the activities." Who bought those tables, previously bought for example by UN briber Ng Lap Seng, buying access to the Secretary General? We'll have more on this.

Several disgusted members - the UN pushes people to join - forwarded Inner City Press this: "Dear colleagues... to kick off the new year, UNCA will host an informal meet and greet reception with the elected 5 non-permanent members of the UN Security Council at 5:30 pm in the Express Bar (Third Floor Conference Building).  The occasion is to facilitate interactions between diplomats and the press corps with the hopes of building good working relationships moving forward.  Drinks and food will be served.  I look forward to seeing you there.   Valeria Robecco President, United Nations Correspondents Association." Note that this drink fest is with Equatorial Guinea. We'll have more on this - and this:

  On January 15, current PGA María Fernanda Espinosa Garces gave a speech in the UN that Inner City Press, now banned for 208 days and counting, was not permitted to attend to cover. Nor did the UN app and "Audio Now" ostensibly offered by Guterres' USG Alison Smale work. Despite these hindrances and censorship, which has been appealed, it emerged that Espinosa Garces is convening a 4 February 2019 meeting with so-far unspecified former PGAs. One wondered, would Sam Kutesa who was shown in the recent Patrick Ho UN bribery trial to have taken $500,000 from CEFC, be one of them? Would Vuk Jeremic who met with worked for CEFC China Energy's Ye Jianming, who also met PGA - and now Guterres official - Peter Thomson? (We are not listing the evidence on CEFC - John Ashe, who was killed it is said by a weight dropping onto his neck while working out alone awaiting trial). How can Inner City Press, which actually covers these issues in a UN which claims to respect the right of anti-corruption journalists, be banned from covering UNGA? 

  Guterres got favors from Peter Thomson when Thomson was President of the General Assembly. Rudimentary open source research - including on the UN's own website here - finds that Thomson, like implicated Sam Kutesa and John Ashe and Vuk Jeremic, visited CEFC's Ye Jianming in Hong Kong. What was discussed? Inner City Press previously covered, critically but civilly, Thomson. Now corrupt Guterres has had Inner City Press roughed up and banned 175 days, with his Spokesman Stephane Dujarric refusing to answer any questions despite the promise of Guterres' USG Alison Smale.

   After receiving favors from Thomson as PGA, Guterres gave him a job in his Secretariat, Representative on Oceans. Here is Patrick Ho, interviewed by Guterres' DESA, on Oceans. There should have been an audit. There still should be. Another of Guterres' special advisers, Jeffrey Sachs, after denying Inner City Press' documented report Sachs was on a UN - CEFC board, abruptly closed his Twitter account, story here. Guterres goes on robo-tweeting from parts unknown, spending public money undisclosed. Guterres should explain and / or resign.  We will have more in this series.

   A now-removed Gulbenkian Foundation web page says Guterres continued as a board member into 2018. Archived here. In fact it was on 9 February 2018 that Gulbenian tweeted that Guterres was no longer on the board - AFTER it was reported that Gulbenian was trying to sell, or even had already sold, Partex to CEFC. This is called guilty knowledge.

 While Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric is refusing to answer Inner City Press' written questions, contrary to promises by Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale, it appears Guterres' evasive defense is claiming that he left Gulbenkian in November 2016 and therefore somehow had no conflict of interest in refusing and blocking the obviously needed UN audit of CEFC after the arrest of its Patrick Ho for UN bribery. This defense is dubious.

  Why did Gulbenkian take down its webpage disclosing that Guterres remained on board into 2018? Why - sixteen months after Guterres ostensibly left - did they wait until February 2018 to tweet that he left? Because their negotiations with CEFC became public (see 2 February 2018 Bloomberg here, and 6 February MacauHub here: "CEFC China Energy buys Portugal’s Partex Oil & Gas.")

  In any event, Guterres' "2017" Financial Disclosure, which explicitly says it covered the year 2016 in which even in this new story he remained on Gulbenkian's board into November, more than 80% of the year - did not disclose his role in Gulbenkian, only on the Club of Madrid. Guterres has had previous financial disclosure omissions, for example in Portugal, here. CEFC was hardly unknown: it bought a Portuguese insurance company in November 2017, here.

    Guterres' failure to disclose and, separately and even more so, his refusal to audit CEFC in the UN was a direct conflict of interest, which he has tried to cover up by roughing up and banning Inner City Press which asked him about it. (See January 2018 press conference here, July 2018 roughing up by Guterres' UN Security here, banning letter via Press Freedom Tracker here.)


Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office, past & future?: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA
For now UNder Guterres: UN Delegates Entrance Gate
and mail: Dag H. Center Box 20047, NY NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

 Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2019 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for