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As Belarus Grounds Ryan Air Flight & Grabs Pratasevich US Speaks, UN Guterres Silent

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Video
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - CJR - PFT

UN GATE, May 23– Now that dissident blogger Pratasevich has been grabbed off a Ryan Air flight forced to land in Belarus, many including the US have spoken. But nothing from Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General who rarely takes questions and even had the Press which asked him about the mass killings in Cameroon thrown out of the UN.

From Antony Blinken (who himself has yet to act on Guterres' censorship) on May 23 this: "The United States strongly condemns the forced diversion of a flight between two EU member states and the subsequent removal and arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich in Minsk. We demand his immediate release. This shocking act perpetrated by the Lukashenka regime endangered the lives of more than 120 passengers, including U.S. citizens. Initial reports suggesting the involvement of the Belarusian security services and the use of Belarusian military aircraft to escort the plane are deeply concerning and require full investigation."

Previously, Guterres rolled up in three large SUV vehicles to the publicly-funded mansion he usually lives alone in, just before the COVID-19 pandemic spread in March
Video here, & YouTube and Facebook.

 Now Guterres, wasting public funds like any dictator in his publicly funded mansion after his COVID super-spreader vacation trip to Portugal is silent as authorities in Minsk detained five employees of Press Club Belarus as well as Ksenia Lutskina, an independent journalist who recently participated in an event hosted by the club, according to news reports and Nadzeya Belakhvostik, chief editor of the Press Club’s “Media IQ” media literacy project, who spoke with CPJ in a phone interview.  Press Club Belarus is a professional trade organization that conducts educational and cultural initiatives relating to journalism, hosts professional development events, and produces media content, according to its website. The club’s “Press Under Pressure” program catalogues press freedom violations in the country.  All six individuals were arrested as part of a tax evasion investigation into Press Club Belarus. Meanwhile Guterres bans Inner City Press from the UN, for the 917th day. Corrupt.

On October 3, The Belarusian Foreign Ministry canceled the accreditations of all foreign journalists in the country, saying the move was made as part of a reforming of the country's regulations and procedures for the media.  In a statement on October 2, the ministry said the accreditations are immediately considered invalid, and that journalists working for foreign media organizations in the country must reapply with a revamped accreditation commission that will start operating on October 5.

Meanwhile the US imposed sanctions on Minister of the Interior Kareau & Deputy Barsukou; Commander Nazaranka  and Deputy AtabekauIpatau, Ipatau and Dmukhayla; Kubrakou and Balaba.

 After a typical UN Secretariat waffling on Belarus, on September 11 SG Antonio Guterres who bans Press from the UN for 822 days issued this canned statement: "The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the situation in Belarus, particularly the continued use of force against peaceful protestors and the detention of people exercising their legitimate democratic rights.  He is also concerned about reports of intimidation tactics against civil society, media" - media? When Guterres' own guards rough up and ban the Press, here?

  On September 12, still-banned Inner City Press went to check out the UN and Belarus protest across from it on 43rd Street, where it covered the UN after Guterres had it roughed up. Sept 12 Periscope here. Guterres sides with dictators - and his Melissa Fleming has not acted on Inner City Press' application a full week previous for access to briefing to cover UNGA Week 2020. We'll have more on this.

 As Inner City Press reported on August 4 when Haq and Melissa Fleming had it removed before it could ask a question on Guterres' lame "policy brief" on COVID-19 and education, Guterres' embargoed video was filmed July 23. This shows guilty knowledge.

  In March at public expense his wife Catarina Vaz Pinto was with him, just as she was in September 2019 in expensive seats at the US Open tennis tournament as Guterres - and she? - censored the Press.

   Catarina Vaz Pinto is no longer only Lisbon's Minister of Culture - she is now, somewhat absurdly, the "Minister of International Relations" of the city. In that role she was in Madrid, at an event making light of the spread of Coronavirus which Guterres is helping spread, while UN Spokesperson Stephan Dujarric and Melissa Fleming refuse all Inner City Press questions.


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