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In #MeTooUN Case in India Now Arrest Warrant To Be Served No Thanks To SG Guterres Impunity

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR, filing, audio

UNITED NATIONS GATE, March 4 – While the UN's (mis) use of its legal immunity spreads under Secretary General Antonio Guterres from UN peacekeepers' deadly negligence and sexual abuse to sexual harassment from UNAIDS through the IAEA to UNESCO and Ravi Karkara at UN WOMEN, the ghoulish self-investigation of UNFPA's Diego Palacios was highlighted in a press call on 16 August 2018, at 6 am New York time. Audio of Q&A on Patreon here. Prashanti Tiwari, on whose case Inner City Press has previously repeatedly asked the UN and reported, spoke from India; it emerged she has written a letter to Guterres. [The letter is here.] Guterres has done nothing. Now this, from India: more than a year after Prashanti Tiwari filed an FIR against UNFPA India chief Diego Palacios for sexually harassing her, Bihar Police's CID has ordered the investigating officer to file a charge sheet against him.  In the FIR filed in February last year, Prashanti had also accused the UNFPA country head for India and Ena Singh of assault... Locally, due to the lawless impunity of Guterres and his UN, it is said that several problems were faced in the investigation due to the accused's supposed diplomatic immunity. Now an arrest warrant is likely to be issued and will be served to the accused through the Ministry of Home Affairs - might the hypocrite Guterres try to block even this, while continuing to ban now for 243 days the Press that alone asks about this? Back on August 16, Paula Donovan and Sharanya Kanikkannan, both of AIDS-Free World’s Code Blue Campaign (the latter by phone from Mali) answered Inner City Press' question about Guterres' expansion of impunity by pointing out that the full extend is not known, as the UN has no Freedom of Information Act. Paula Donovan recounted meeting with UNFPA chief Natalia Kanem when Kanen knocked on wood and she said hoped to never have cases like those in UNAIDS under Michel Sidibe - whom Guterres has defended - while she is at UNFPA. Kanem said this when she but not yet Code Blue knew of the Diego Palacios harassment case. We'll have more on this - including on the letter, given our recent experience after being roughed up by UN Security while covering the UN Budget Committee on July 3 and banned for 44 days and counting since, of Guterres' SGcentral e-mail portal refusing to acknowledge receipt of a formal complaint regarding the roles of USG Alison Smale and Spokesman Stephane Dujarric. What will be Guterres' response to Tiwari's troubling case and letter? Inner City Press would like to ask in person at the UN noon briefing, as it was able under Ban Ki-moon (except for three days) and until July 5. But now Guterres has banned it, for a Kafkaesque review that is a classic case of blame the victim (of UN Security brutality). This is a pattern.There is a need for more groups like AIDS-Free World, willing to take the UN to task rather than content to meet and raise money off Antonio "Impunity" Guterres. Donovan ended with a strong point that Guterres claim that gender parity (after he took the Secretary General post) will solve this issues is bunk, as shown by Natalia Kanem's cover up of Diego Palacio's harassment, and actions, some already complained off to Guterres, of Alison Smale. Guterres on May 14 in Vienna, before in July he had Inner City Press roughed up and now banned from the UN for 44 days and counting (Fox News story here, GAP blogs I and II; UK Independent here), told UN staff that sexual exploitation and abuse is not relevant, only sexual harassment is.

This statement was made amid allegations of physical sexual abuse by UNAIDS' Luiz Loures, and the purchase of sex by a D1 UN official in Somalia. Are those cases of harassment? One that is, which the UN system keeps trying to cover up, is the case of Prashanti Tiwari at UNFPA in India. As Inner City Press reported in July, already banned from the UN by Guterres, Tiwari discovered that a UN Department of Safety and Security officer named has tried to interfere in her case. She informed UNFPA - more on this soon - and the Indian government, as obtained by Inner City Press: I am writing to you in a state of utter shock and disbelief and want you to look into my complaint seriously. There has been serious flaws and misleads by UNFPA on my complaint against Diego Palacios and Ena Singh on charges of sexual abuse, exploitation, harassment, criminal conspiracy and intimidation. I am afraid if MEA does not act with sternness now, it will be too late and justice will never be given to an Indian citizen, whom our Honourable Minister calls "Bharat ki Beti".
Please note 1. A security officer from UN by the name of Mr Dayanand has been approaching and contacting the Bihar Police Investigation Officer in my F.I.R against Diego Palacios and Ena Singh. Sir why are they contacting the IO.
2. When Bihar police was acting swiftly, MEA asked the Bihar police to approach UN officials through MEA, and I have seen your letter to that effect. If that is the process, how come UN can contact the Bihar Police and that too the Investigation officer directly? Just because they are UN can they do anything against me and
that too in my own country? They are simply influencing the witnesses and evidences and you need to stop this.
3. This security officer was misleading the Bihar Police by saying that the letter (giving permission to interview the UNFPA staff,where only one name is mentioned out of three) is from MEA, Whereas the letter was on the letter head of UNFPA and had the logo of UNFPA. So why was he misleading and misguiding the Bihar
Police? This conversation is recorded.
They have not given permission to interrogate the accused than what is the point in the investigation. Arent they impeding the criminal investigation as well by not giving police the access to the accused. Even the permission given to interview the witness is so protective and controlled that it will not result in fair and an honest disposition. How can MEA be silent on this gross abuse of judicial processes.
4. The letter mentions that the internal investigation is over on 9 May 2018. So where is the report? Why was the UN security officer approaching the IO of Bihar Police directly?
5. I requested the UNFPA investigators to share the statement of the accused with me to offer my counter. UNFPA replied that it is not in their policy to share the statement of the accused with the complainant. I asked them to share the relevant policy. They shared UNFPA Disciplinary Framework where there was no mention of such a clause. I checked with the UNFPA and they replied that yes it is not in their policy but is a practice. Sir, these contradictions and flip flops are all documented.
6. The entire approach of UNFPA and the UN system is to witch hunt the complainant and bury the case under the carpet. I have met with so many women who
have faced this trauma in UN and no justice is ever going to come from them as is also evident from their flip flop statements, misinformation and attempts to influence criminal investigation as well.
7. Till date MEA has been unable to support me or stand with me despite the assurances by our Minister. I only went to their internal investigation because my government (MEA) has asked me to that. ...I do not have any trust in UNFPA and I hope after reading this your faith on them will also be shaken. Please act. Thanks
Prashanti Tiwari."

Now on July 31, Code Blue has written an open letter to UNFPA, including that "The only way to rectify this situation is to immediately and without reservation: Order UNFPA personnel to desist from making any further determinations relating to immunity and taking actions that are outside the stated policies and practices of the United Nations.
Request the Secretary-General exercise his right and duty to make a determination of whether immunity applies for the accused and witnesses in this case and ask that he lift their immunities without delay for the purpose of cooperation with the justice process.
Commit to full cooperation with Indian police investigators under conditions of confidentiality and impartiality as required by law, lifting all restrictions on interviews by Indian authorities.
Promptly investigate and sanction every member of your staff who has taken part in the multiple bad-faith and coercive acts that we have listed above." We'll have more on this - and on the obvious need for immunity to be lift in connection with the roughing up a journalist inside the UN, twice, seemingly with the green light by the very person controlling the lifting of immunity, or his spokesman.

Previously, Inner City Press asked the UN to explain, below - and then was informed by sources in Vienna that the #MeTooUN problem there is wider than heretofor reported. An abrupt resignation at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, of Tero Varjoranta, was by some like Reuters linked to Trump's pull out from the Iran JPCOA deal. But Inner City Press is exclusively informed it is more tied to an incident witnessed by many, and inquired into by press pursuing the impunity in the UN system for sexual harassament and abuse. Inner City Press' source, understandably afraid of retaliation in Guterres' UN (which continues to restrict Inner City Press) says, "at a senior management retreat at the start of the year, the Deputy Director General  was seen to publicly 'kiss a female subordinate long and hard' and then was seen retiring to the bed chamber with the female person. Nonetheless, Amano approved a contract extension for the DDG subsequently.


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