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After UN Critiqued Coverage of Sex Abuse Detention of NGO Cttee Vice Chair, Sudan Suspends Newspaper

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 30  – Weeks after Inner City Press asked the UN about the vice chair of its NGO committee being detained by New York Police for sexual abuse and the UN replied this was a matter for Sudan not the UN to respond to, Sudan has suspended a newspaper for reporting on the case. On October 10, Inner City Press asked the UN spokesman: "the vice chairman of the NGO committee has, was detained by police for, for sexual harassment or groping.  And some people have said this, this is sort of a bad black eye for the UN system, that this is the individual… is it Secretary, Second Secretary of the Sudanese mission that's letting NGOs in or not.  Does the Secretary-General, given what he's said about gender equity, etc., have any view on this…? Spokesman:  A couple things to, to make clear.  The role of the NGO, the NGO chair is elected by, by Member States.  It's up to those Member States who make up the committee to make a decision based on what happened. We clearly stand firmly against any sort of, of harassment or of illegal or bad behaviour.  This is now an issue between the United States and the Government, the Government of Sudan. I think, as a matter of practice, we would expect anyone who has the privilege of immunity to obey the rules and the regulations and the laws and the customs of the country in which they work.  And I do want to make it clear that this person is not a UN employee or UN staffer as it's been said in some of the press coverage." After that statement by the UN, now Sudan has suspended Algareeda newspaper. There are echoes here... Watch this site.


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