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With UN Cars At Guterres Mansion 10 AM Inner City Press Asks When He Went to UNHQ Haq Says Working In NY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Audio

UNITED NATIONS, October 15 – When UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres took off on a six day publicly funded trip on October 8 his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres would be back in New York on Sunday, October 14. But past 10 am on Monday October 15 when Inner City Press -- banned from the UN by Guterres for 104 days and counting - passed by the $15 million mansion Guterres lives in on Sutton Place and 57th Street, in front were not only but two UN Security vehicles. Photo here. Guterres, it seemed clear, had decided to sleep in. His public schedule, as it so often does, said All appointments internal. So Inner City Press before noon, and the UN Daily Briefing it remains banned from, e-mailed questions to Guterres spokesmen, Communicator Alison Smale who said questions would be answered though less than 10% are, and Deputy Amina J. Mohammed (also "all appointments are internal") including: "October 15-2: You have said the SG returned to NY on Sunday. Please state what time the SG came to UNHQ today Monday to work." Past two pm Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq leaving 100+ other questions still UNanswered including for example one on a UN staffer injured in Somalia and stiffed by Guterres UN since, replied on this one: "Regarding question 15-2, the Secretary-General was back at work in New York today; all appointments for Monday are internal." Inner City Press asked what time Guterres "came to UNHQ" - UN headquarters, a dozen blocks from Guterres' publicly funded mansion. But the answer is about Guterres working "in New York," presumably then from home. How often does he do this? Before the trip he did a photo op with Belarus in the mansion, which his spokesman Dujarric has otherwise insisted should not be filmed. We'll have more on this - and this: the UN maintains a secret list of people banned from entering its premises. Even the Security officers who enforce the ban are not told the reason why a person is on the list: whether it was for actual violence, or writing articles questioning the Secretary General Antonio Guterres' misuse of public funds, for example. One told Inner City Press the secret list includes "demonstrators" and "political activists," audio here.

  Guterres or apparently his head of Global Communications Alison Smale, if only as a proxy, can put a journalist on the list without any review, any notice, any appeal. It is a dictator's dream come true.

   Inner City Press was physically ousted twice by Guterres' UN Security this summer as it reported on his now-15 flights to his home in Lisbon with public funds, his trading away of Cameroon human rights abuses for favors in the Budget Committee, and now his son Pedro's undisclosed business links in Africa. Smale on August 17, without once speaking to me covering the UN for Inner City Press for 11 years, withdrew my media accreditation.

  But it's gone further than that. For example, on October 11 I showed up for a film screening about sex trafficking, “Love Sonia,” to which I had been invited by the UN Office of Drugs and Crimes. UNODC's New York director personally put me on the list for a post screening reception and came and met me and took me to the UN gate to sign me in, since my ticket - which she said she'd seen - mysteriously disappeared.

  UN Security refused to allow the NY director of UNODC to sign me in. “Even if he had a ticket we'd have to check,” one officer said. I was told that a supervisor would come out, and that UNODC would speak to them. But after one hour it never happened. Guterres' chief of staff Maria Luiza Viotti left the building and I audibly told her, I'm invited but I'm being blocked. She did not even break stride.

  The UN has given me nothing in writing that I am banned. Guterres' spokesman has stated it as a fact, without explanation or rationale, on October 9 and 11, while refusing to answer my e-mailed questions despite Smale's promise they would be answered to supposedly respect my "journalistic endeavours."

   Another UN Security officer told me, No one is going to help you. You are on the list. I asked him, who else is on the list? He mentioned “demonstrators” and "political activists" and others. Audio here.

  Tellingly, NOT on Guterres' banned list are those who pleaded guilty to UN bribery for example in the Ng Lap Seng - John Ashe case. They are not banned by Guterres, UNlike the journalist who most closely covered those convictions, and the current UN bribery case of Patrick Ho and the China Energy Fund Committee. Guterres is fine with bribery, but bans those who investigate and expose it.

UNSG Guterres thinks he can ban people without no notice, no due process, no review? And that it won't be noticed or reviewed? Watch this site.


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