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Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


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

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As UN Eviction Loomed, Courthouse News Chimed In, Gallach's DPI Set Deadline, No Appeal

By Matthew Russell Lee, Series, Video I, II

UNITED NATIONS, March 6 – Facing final UN eviction, did this audit, trashing Gallach as it did, offer some protection? I hadn't spoken with her. But an African ambassador who had, on my behalf he said, read to him from his notes: they are looking for some sign, he said. She mentioned the other journalists a lot, but insisted they are not punishing you.
  What kind of sign? I asked him. He shrugged and said he would speak to her again.  Through other channels came other messages: they don't like your Periscopes. They don't like your questions at the noon briefing. It was even suggested that I stop going to the noon briefing for a while.

  But what then was I fighting for? Wasn't it to ask question for those who couldn't? Those who couldn't get in the building, even people in New York City like Dan Purcell, in the library and down by the river? The UN's cholera victims in Haiti? Those it was supposed to protect, in the Congo, Burundi and Sri Lanka? Most in Rwanda no longer believed in the UN, like most in Haiti. Perhaps it would spread. Maybe I was fighting to restore access to an organization which was dying, which Ban Ki-moon had effectively killed. The only effective thing he would have done.

  Courthouse News' piece came out and I thought that too might protect me. It mentioned the incongruity of South South News, used for bribery, still having its office while I'd been thrown out of mine. My focus now, I'd decided, was just to not have my stuff thrown out of the office until my probationary pass expired on June 22. Then I could return, and go from there.

  I was thinking that would be possible. Another correspondent told me Spokesman Dujarric had told him he didn't think Inner City Press' office would be given out.  I was biking up to the New York City pool when I saw Dujarric, on his own bike. I pulled up alongside and said, “Is it true they won't be giving out my office?”
  He turned out, still pedaling, surprised. I thought, he'll make a complaint about this too. And perhaps he did. But he told me, he didn't think they'd be giving it out.  I swam with peace, at least some peace.

  And then I got an email from MALU:

"Dear Mr. Lee, Further to the letter to you from Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, on 30 March 2016, we note that you did not remove your belongings from the office by the 6 April deadline as required.

As you have still not removed your belongings, we wish to inform you that your belongings will be packaged on Saturday 16 April 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

After carefully packaging them up, your belongings will be forwarded to [ ] Avenue, Bronx NY, the headquarters address for Inner City Press that you had listed in your media accreditation application. If you wish us to forward your packaged belongings to another address instead, please let us know as soon as possible.

We request your presence during the packing. Please contact the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU) to make the necessary arrangements. If you are not present, the packing and forwarding will still take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday 16 April 2016."

  So that was it. I paced around the bullpen. I emailed it to some in Congress, some at The Intercept and Guardian. Some wrote back, some offered to forward it to others. But who could stop his freight train of censorship?

   I was standing with my minder in front of ECOSOC when Ban Ki-moon came along. I approached him -- his guards moved in quickly -- and I said, “You know they are throwing me out, evicting me from my office.”

  “That is not my decision,” Ban croaked, backing away. His guards got between us.

  “Oh but it is,” I said. My hands were shaking.
  Who killed the UN? Ban Ki-moon killed the UN. Because... Bank Ki-moon, is corrupt. Ban Ki MOON, is corrupt. Why is he so corrupt? He's so corrupt Driving around in his corruption trucks. These were my chants. But what would they come to?


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