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UN Spox Dujarric Is Asked About His Claims Against Inner City Press and What He and Smale Said in Tokyo

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR  Q&A, NY Post

UNITED NATIONS GATE,  NOVEMBER 15 -- As Inner City Press moved forward with its inquiry into UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' personal use of public funds, silence on slaughter in Cameroon and elsewhere and failure to disclose family members' financial interests in Angola and elsewhere, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric on 20 June 2018 said that “things will soon be getting worse” for Inner City Press' reporter. Inner City Press has now been banned from the UN for 134 days and Dujarric is providing his and his boss' pretext, as purported background, to some of those asking questions, at least if they come from Europe. On November 15, with Dujarric back from a week long junket to Tokyo his speech on which has been requested, Inner City Press asked yet again: "November 15- 6: As asked since November 8 and now further specified: I am informed that the SG's spokesman has selectively contacted some of those (from Europe) raising questions about the UN 3 July 2018 Press ouster and ban since and urged watching my Periscope broadcasts “outside of the SG’s residence” - as if those stand-ups, across Sutton Place from this $15 million mansion, are not covered by free press principles and claimed among other things that Inner City Press improperly filmed on the 4th floor. Since MALU told me I could film on the 4th floor without an escort or minder, this is a request that you immediately provide the information requested yesterday and the specifics of the incidents the Spokesman has referred to, and that you state in what capacity Antonio Guterres' spokesman undertook these communications.

I specifically ask you to explain the statement that “ I have responsibility to make sure that my staff is safe” - which is precisely what the US Administration is saying regarding the CNN reporter who's six day ban they are not being sued for.

More specifically, please immediately explain how Mr. Dujarric's statement that “press credentials to work at the UN, just like any other institution, is a 'privilege'” is different in any way that the position taken by the Trump Administration in response to the CNN lawsuit.

This is a request that immunity lifted- and that you explain and document, or withdraw, Mr. Dujarric's statement that “Over the last couple of years, he continuously harassed my staff.”

Given his vague allusions to hostile environment, please explain why he and the UN have done nothing whether some correspondents were shouted down by Dujarric's favorites, were elbowed at the UNSC stakeout, etc - clearly the concern about environment is selective and a pretext, to be address by communication not roughing and and banning including no due process inclusion on a withheld “banned from the UN” list and even targeting for attempted ouster as from the Park East Synagogue on Oct 31.

Since even the Spokesman's false claims do not justify banning me from the noon briefing now for 128 days this is a formal request that beginning Nov 13 I be allowed - escorted if you see fit - to enter to attend and ask questions at the noon briefing on, for example, Sri Lanka, Burundi and the UN Budget, which the Spokesman purports to respect my right to do. There is no allegation that at any noon briefing I caused any of the Spokesman's unnamed sources to feel “unsafe.” Ironically, I was covering the Budget Committee when I was roughed up by UN Security on July 3. For re-entry to noon briefing and to the General Assembly and other events in the UN to which the SG has no right at all to ban me -- even the US administration is not blocking the CNN reporter from entering Congress -- my application to MALU in early September was never acted on - MALU is being cc-ed here - and should now be approved and access restored in light of the contents of the Spokesman's communications. Immediately.

November 15- 7: Please provide a video, transcript or prepared remarks for these presentations, prepared with public funds: “On 13 November 2018, UNU will host “A Matter of Facts: Communicating the Work of the UN in a Post-truth Era”, a conversation with with Alison Smale, UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, and Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres. This event will start at 6:30 p.m. at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.The general public has unprecedented access to endless streams of global news, videos, and images. Yet despite this democratisation of information, it has never been more difficult to discern the accuracy and veracity of the news deluge.” After a briefing in which Dujarric laughed just after a question about human rights was asked - and was quickly told he didn't mean it by one of those he allows in "his" briefing room - still no answers.

  The pretexts are lies - now that they are becoming public, the ban is more disgusting and should be UNtenable.

  Two days after Dujarric's threat this reporter was pushed out of the General Assembly lobby during a speech by Guterres by UN Security Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins, who did it again more violently on July 3. Since then Inner City Press has been banned from entering the UN, and Guterres even tried to get Inner City Press ousted from Park East Synagogue twenty blocks north of the UN on October 31.

   As many online have questioned this no due process ouster, including from Cameroon, Japan, the UK, Italy and other places in Europe, we can now report that Dujarric while refusing to answer Inner City Press' and a UN Expert's written questions about how to appeal this lifetime ban has reached out to try to quiet some critics.

Tellingly, while he has entirely ignored for example Anglophone Cameroonian critics regardless of how polite or articulate they are, or how many social media followers they have, Dujarric has reached out to European critics. What does he tell them?

  To give the UN its best chance, Inner City Press on the morning of November 8 emailed questions to Guterres, his Deputy Amina Mohammed, Alison Smale, Dujarric and his Deputy Farhan Haq including: "November 8-2: I am informed that the SG's spokesman has selectively contacted those (from Europe) raising questions about the UN 3 July 2018 Press ouster and ban since, including stating that unnamed UN staff members or officials demand a lifetime ban in order to feel “safe.” Given the lack of due process, please name which officials or safe claim to feel unsafe in order to justify censorship, and the basis for your claims. Also, again, answer UNSR David Kaye's and others' question: what is the appeals process for a unilateral no due process physical ouster and banning by the UN of a journalist?" But seven hour later, no answer to any of the questions.

   So, for now due to the UN's constant threat of retaliation even against those it has unilaterally chosen to reach out to with dirt that cannot stand the light of day, this is a composite:

Dujarric claims that Inner City Press made "diplomats" feel unsafe. But he has yet to provide the name of a single diplomat, other than the false Morocco Mission complaint in USG Alison Smale's 17 August 2018 ban letter.

Dujarric claims that his staff didn't like having the movement reported on. This seems to refer to Inner City Press, once it had no office to use, working on a bench in the Secretariat lobby and noting when spokespeople who refused to even acknowledge formal questions went out to lunch. This is not a basis to ban a journalist for life.

Dujarric goes low and says that unnamed female reporters didn't want to see Inner City Press doing stand-up Periscope broadcasts. But the purpose of these -- filming on the fourth floor was permitted without an escort, Inner City Press was told by Media Accreditation -- was to show EMPTY offices, for example Morocco state media, while Inner City Press had nowhere to work. In fact, Inner City Press went out of its way not to speak with or engage in any way with Dujarric's coterie of pro UN correspondents - that why it left the building after work through the garage, which was later used against it.

  There is more, and we will have more. But it is clear these are pretexts. And even if Antonio "The Censor" Guterres, who believes it is impermissible for a journalist to do a critical stand up on the public sidewalk across two lanes of traffic from the $15 million publicly funded mansion he (sometimes) lives in believes these pretexts, an interim solution was and is clear.

 Simply allow Inner City Press in to go to the noon briefing and asked question - unless that is what they are afraid of - and to cover UNSC stakeouts and Budget Committee meetings. It is pathetic that a UN and Secretary General that be focused on "conflict prevention" can't find a solution other than violent ouster and banning for a critical journalist. We'll have more on this.

   This is how any dictatorship would try to justifying physically assaulting and banning a reporter - say that the journalist's reporting made unnamed people feel unsafe in unspecified ways.

  Yes, Inner City Press named UN officials who took money from now convicted briber Ng Lap Seng, including to provide Ng with falsified General Assembly documents. Is it legitimate for Guterres' UN to oust and ban a media for making briber-takers feel unsafe? There are others: the Patrick Ho trial starts this month.

   Even in Dujarric's private outreach to European critics, he has no evidence. This is why he and USG Alison Smale never offered a hearing or opportunity to be heard: there is no evidence, the charges are Trump-ed up. Smale's deputy claims an article shouldn't have been written about him using audio of what he said at an official stake-out position accepted (at least for other media) by Smale's own Department, which called frivolous the Morocco Mission complaint Smale also used.

  But today we ask: why does Dujarric refuse to response for example to African critics while reaching out to Europeans to say that the banning of Inner City Press should be accepted, that asking the UN questions in person is a privilege? It is because Dujarric himself is privileged. Publicly available records -- don't be scared -- show that Dujarric bought an apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side for $3,785,000.

   Now the UN is wasteful - but does it pay its spokesman enough to buy a $4,000,000 apartment? The money, it seemed from public records, came from (where else) an art gallery, the Odyssia Gallery in New York, which among other things produces vanity shows. The NY Times had reported that "Ilaria Skouras Quadrani, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Federico Quadrani of Rome and New York, was married last Monday to Stephane Dujarric de la Riviere, a son of Anka M. Begley of New York and Francois Dujarric de la Riviere of Paris. Msgr. Robert Charlebois performed the ceremony at the church of San Pietro in Montorio in Rome. Mrs. Dujarric, 24, is a researcher at the Kate Gansz Company, an art dealer in London. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College and received a master's degree in art history from New York University. Her parents own the Odyssia Gallery in New York."  This Odyssia Gallery, which later published a book (cover photo here) of Ilaria's drawings, has or had as address 305 East 61st Street, Manhattan. But a recent reporter's visit to the site found an empty building. So what IS the source of this spokesman's $4 million apartment?

   It is all very nice, a position from which to target hard working media and try to destroy a shirt, a laptop, a livelihood, all without due process, only later evidence-free excuses provided in private to other European, banning questions from Africa and about the UN's corruption. It is UNacceptable. We'll have more on this.


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