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On Mali Inner City Press Asked UN About Fictitious Voters Now Outdated Statement After Rockets

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope, YouTube

UNITED NATIONS, July 30 – The day after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' guard first physically ousted Inner City Press which was covering Guterres' June 22 Eid speech and his failures in Cameroon, corruption and reform, Guterres appeared in Washington for a Portuguese luncheon and to meet Mike Pompeo. The UN still has not put out a read-out, as is Guterres' untransparent way. Before 2 pm on Jun 23, the US State Department put this out: "The Secretary and the Secretary-General discussed the success of the Singapore Summit, efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, Libya, peace in the Middle East, and the Secretary-General’s recent trip to Mali." On Mali, just as when Guterres was bragging about it at an Eid event his security physically evicted the Press from, it is unlike Guterres raised in DC since he didn't in Mali the UN child rape there, and now the finding of mass graves attributable to the Malian military the UN supports. Now after Guterres' Security more violently ousted Inner City Press from covering the UN Budget on July 3 and Guterres has banned it since, on July 27 Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesmen in writing, "In Mali, on 20 July, the Union for the Republic and Democracy (URD) announced the existence of a parallel electoral register that would include nearly 1.2 million fictitious voters, out of 8 million registered voters. What is the UN's comment, including given its MINUSMA mission there?" Despite Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale's claim that Inner City Press' questions, albeit only by e-mail, are being answered, this one wasn't answered except to say "ASK MINUSMA." Symbolic of the UN's decay and cult of personality under Guterres, it was Monday, July 30 at 6 am New York time, long after the polls closed in an an election described as grim that featured rocket attacks in the north that the MINUSMA that vacationing Dujarric told Inner City Press to contact put out a two day old statement by Guterres about "on the eve of these polls, which are important for peace and reconciliation in Mali, the Secretary-General is encouraged by the overall peaceful climate." Photo, with time stamp, here. This is Guterres' UN, which throws critical media in the street and goes on vacation: "The Secretary-General is closely following developments in Mali ahead of the presidential election scheduled to take place on 29 July 2018.
On the eve of these polls, which are important for peace and reconciliation in Mali, the Secretary-General is encouraged by the overall peaceful climate that has characterized the electoral campaign to date, despite continued security challenges in the north and center of the country.
The Secretary-General calls on all Malians to maintain the peaceful course, thereby ensuring that Sunday’s elections serve as an important celebration of democracy. The Secretary-General urges all political actors in Mali to commit to making this poll a peaceful, free and transparent process, and to resolve any possible dispute through the appropriate institutions in accordance with the law.
The Secretary-General stresses that peace and reconciliation for all Malian citizens must prevail, irrespective of the electoral outcome.
The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to supporting the electoral process in Mali.
Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General,
New York, 28 July 2018."

    Lead Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, like Smale and Guterres himself, is on vacation, as the Press remains banned by them. This is today's rotten UN.
This while Guterres lets his own guards oust the press then has a spokesman who said you can only ask UN Security about it. It seems Guterres is a corrupt censor. Five UN Security officers, most with automatic weapons, pushed Inner City Press' reporter out of the UN on June 22 as it was filming and preparing to write about Secretary General Antonio Guterres' claims about his visit to Mali, where he didn't even inquire into a recent case child rape by a UN Peacekeeper. With the event still ongoing, Inner City Press was approached by UN Lieutenant Dobbins and told that since it was just past 7 pm it had to leave the building.

 That is not the rule, nor the practice; in any event, the Guterres Eid al -Fitr event listed in the UN Department of Public Information was still ongoing, making it unquestionable that Inner City Press had a right to be in the UN and cover it.

   But even as Inner City Press dialed DPI's Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, getting only voice mail, Dobbins made a call and UN “Emergency Response Unit” officers arrived, with barely concealed automatic weapons. One of them repeatedly pushed Inner City Press' reporter in the back, forcing him through the General Assembly lobby toward the exit. Periscope video here. Longer YouTube (40 min) here.

   UN Under Secretary General Catherine Pollard was told the ouster and did nothing, as was a Moroccan diplomat. The heavily armed UN Security officers refused to give their names when asked. Lieutenant Dobbins, with no name plate on his uniform, refused to spell his name. He said, I have my orders. From who - Guterres? His Deputy SG or chief of staff, both of whom were at the event? DSS chief Drennan? DPI chief Alison Smale?

    Inner City Press repeatedly asked to be able to get its laptop computer, which was upstairs - there was no way to have known it would be ousted during Guterres' event.

  But Dobbins and the others refused, as did the UN Security officers at the gate. Inner City Press remained there, with dwindling cell phone battery, raising the issue online to Smale, under whose watch Inner City Press has remained in the non-resident correspondent status it was reduced to for pursuing the Ng Lp Seng UN bribery case into the UN press briefing room where Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric ordered it out, then had it evicted. A DPI representative, whom Inner City Press asked to call Smale, was unable or unwilling to even let Inner City Press go in escorted to get its laptop.

   Just in the past week, when Inner City Press complained of Dujarric providing only to Al Jazeera the response of Antonio Guterres to the US leaving the UN Human Rights Council, Dujarric and the Al Jazeera trio claimed to MALU that the coverage was “too aggressive.” Journalism is not a crime? Next week, Antonio Guterres is set to give remarks, to which Inner City Press has requested the right to cover response, to the UN Correspondents Association, which not only has not acted on this censorship, but has fueled it.

  Inside the UN the Eid event continued, alongside a liquor fueled barbeque thrown by UN Security. This DSS sold tickets to non resident correspondents, and allowed in people who had nothing to do with the UN, including some seeming underage. When Inner City Press audibly raised the issue to UN Safety and Security Service chief Mick Brown, he did nothing.

   The Moroccan diplomat emerged and chided Inner City Press for even telling him of the ouster, claiming that “25% of what you write is about Morocco.” Pakistan's Permanent Representative, who hosted the Eid event, said she would look into it. Sweden's spokesperson asked whom to call in DPI and when Inner City Press said, Alison Smale, responded, Who is Alison Smale? Indeed.

  Smale has refused to respond in any way, in the eight months she has been Guterres' “Global Communications” chief, to a 5000 signature petition to restore Inner City Press to its unused office S-303 and to adopt content neutral media access rules going forward. That, and appropriate action on Lt. Dobbins and the others, must be among the next steps. Watch this site.


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