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UN Whistleblower Reilly Draws NGO Support After Firing By SG Guterres and Spox Dujarric Lies

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

UN GATE Exclusive Series, Nov 16 – In the UN of Antonio Guterres, those who ask about his undisclosed links to Chinese bribery firm CEFC China Energy, or or blow the whistle on the UN given China the names of Uighur witnesses, get physically thrown out and banned, or in the case of staff, fired.   

 Inner City Press, which asked Guterres' spokespeople Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming each weekday in August and September about the slow motion firing of whistleblower Emma Reilly, on the morning of November 10 exclusively published an answer from her, below, and emailed a question about it to Guterres and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric. Neither deigned to answer.

 Now just out from embargo, this: "We, the undersigned, condemn the action taken by the United Nations to fire human rights whistleblower Emma Reilly on 9 November 2021 and call on the Secretary-General, António Guterres, and the UN General Assembly to commit publicly to critical reforms to ensure UN whistleblower protections are brought into the 21 st century.

Ms. Reilly is one of a long line of internal whistleblowers who have suffered for trying to do their jobs and uphold the human rights mandate of the United Nations. The two should not be incompatible. Among the many important whistleblowers who came before Ms Reilly are:

 Caroline Hunt-Matthes who blew the whistle on rape in a refugee camp in Sri Lanka in 2003 - and had her contract at the UNDP terminated as a result - and who was only vindicated in 2018 after persevering through a 15-year court battle;

 James Wasserstrom, a veteran US diplomat and the former anti-corruption lead at the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo was fired and investigated after blowing the whistle in 2007 on a kick- back schemes involving UN officials and a local utility company;

 Anders Kompass, a Swedish diplomat and veteran human rights defender, who was effectively forced from his position in 2016 as Director of Field Operations at the OHCHR for reporting to the French military police evidence of child sexual abuse by French and African peacekeeping forces in Central African Republic;

 Miranda Brown who blew the whistle on corruption at WIPO and then was later fired from the OHCRH for blowing the whistle on evidence of child sexual abuse committed by French and African peacekeeping forces in Central African Republic; and

 Aisha El Basri who left her position at the UNAMID mission in Sudan in 2013 to publicly report on the cover-up of atrocities committed by the Sudanese forces in Darfur in 2012 and 2013.

Aisha El Basri reasonably believed her concerns would not be addressed and she would have to fight for her survival if she spoke up internally – thus consuming precious time and resources for her and the UN – so she gave up a 13-year UN career she loved in order to freely raise the alarm. Both Ms. El Basri and Mr Kompass chose to leave rather than to fight to remain at the UN to do the human rights work to which they had dedicated their lives. All of these whistleblowers suffered for doing their jobs and alerting their employer to serious wrongdoing. None remained at the UN.

The WIN Board of Trustees wrote to Secretary-General, António Guterres, on two separate occasions, one in 2020 and the other in early 2021 detailing the series of procedural failures and abuses in Ms. Reilly’s case. The letters sought assurances that action would be taken to halt the unfair treatment of Ms. Reilly and urged him to make sure his orders from April 2018 to have Ms. Reilly transferred and to mediate in her case be fulfilled. No assurances were provided. Importantly, we called on the Secretary-General to properly and independently investigate her serious concerns about the practice of handing to the Chinese authorities the names of dissidents who were providing information and testimony to the UN Human Rights Council.

As we pointed out in our Open Letter in August 2021, there is credible evidence that passing on the names to the Chinese authorities caused harm to the families of these human rights defenders and thus severely undermined their freedom to speak up about serious human rights abuses, including those against the Uyghurs. 1 Whether or not direct harm could be proved, such a practice must be properly and independently investigated because of its obvious chilling effect not only on human rights defenders from China but to all human rights defenders wishing to speak freely to the United Nations about their experiences and concerns. It is also right that where any member of the United Nations workforce has a reasonable belief that a practice or action that could cause harm is occurring, has occurred or could potentially occur, they should be encouraged to raise that concern in the public interest. The issue is never just about whether any rule or regulation was broken, it is about ensuring that harm is prevented, and any further damage is stopped. This is what is understood around the world under international best practice legal standards as a disclosure of public interest information qualifying for protection. Whistleblowing is about ensuring the free flow of information necessary for the responsible exercise of institutional accountability. The status of a whistleblower who “deserves” to be protected is not in the gift of the organization itself to bestow or rescind, it must be set out according to clear legal standards which recognize the imbalance of power between an individual trying to deliver a potentially difficult message and the default position of an institution to protect itself. Without effective legal protections which give a whistleblower a fighting chance to survive and offer them protection for going outside the institution, the focus and energy of the institution will remain on the messenger and not the message. A closed system is not a fair system. The result is that the substance of the message is ignored or covered-up, and the messenger is punished....

Ms. Reilly’s concern remains as urgent today as it did in 2013. It is imperative that the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres and the UN General Assembly now recognizes the UN internal justice system is broken and commits publicly to critical reforms to ensure UN whistleblower protections are brought into the 21st century. We are not the only ones calling for reform and many ideas have been shared about what can be done over the years, from reforms of the UN system, to the creation of a new oversight body. The importance of whistleblowers to ensure that we, the public, have the information we need to work together globally to protect human rights, address CLIMATE CHANGE and to survive pandemics like COVID-19 is more important than ever. We must have the information we need to hold decision-makers world-wide to account for their conduct, to be able to work together on solutions, and to repair the harm done to the planet and to communities. The United Nations must play a key role in gathering that information and protecting those that deliver it, including whistleblowers. And to do so effectively, it really has to get its own house in order. We repeat here what the Alternate Chair of the Ethics Panel wrote in his decision in Ms. Reilly’s case in July 2020:  1 The people most obviously and directly affected do not want their names in the public domain for fear of further reprisals. The reprisals against Dolkun Isa are documented in his witness statement, and now include forced confessions of his family members and exclusion from UN premises at the request of China. See Witness Statement of Mr. Dolkun Isa (22nd May 2019). 

Ms Reilly “…was interested in human rights and protection of human rights activists. OHCHR was, by virtue of the Complainant’s whistleblowing, placed in a very awkward diplomatic position by a human rights issue that it struggled to handle well. A whistleblower’s reporting of such a practice, which was contrary to fundamental UN principles and values, is exactly the sort of activity that must be protected; it is far more important than minor infractions of bureaucratic rules, which the system finds it much more easy [“sic”] to classify as protected.”

Protecting public interest whistleblowers is no longer a niche issue, if it ever was, it is essential to upholding human rights and protecting the public’s right to know. The United Nations must lead the way. We remain at your disposal to help in any way we can. Yours faithfully

African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (Nigeria) Alison Tilley, Attorney (South Africa) Blueprint for Free Speech Campax (Switzerland) Cathy James, Solicitor (former CE of Protect) (UK) Centre for Free Expression, Ryerson University (CAN) Centre for Research in Employment and Work (CREW), University of Greenwich (UK) Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation (Malta) David Lewis, Professor of Employment Law, Middlesex University (UK) Drago Kos, GRECO Chairman (form.) Edward Patrick Flaherty, Senior Partner, Schwab Flaherty & Associes, Attorneys-at-Law (Switzerland) Emmanuel Jacob, President European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions (EUROMIL), EU GlobaLeaks (Italy) Government Accountability Project (USA) Guernica 37 International Human Rights Law Chambers (UK) James I. Wasserstrom, Founder and CEO, The Integrity Sanctuary Kosovo Democratic Institute / Transparency International Kosovo Martin Bright, Acting Editor, Index on Censorship (UK) Martin Jefflén, former Eurocadres President, initiator of WhistleblowerProtection.EU OBC Transeuropa (OBCT) Oziveni (Czech Republic) Peter A. Gallo, Attorney (and former UN Investigator) Pan African Anti-Corruption Network, UNIS Parrhesia Inc (UK) Pištaljka (Serbia) Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF)  Page 4  Protect (UK) SpeakOut-SpeakUp Ltd (United Kingdom) The Signals Network (USA and France) Transparência Internacional Portugal Transparency International Slovakia Transparency International Slovenia Transparency International Ireland Transparency International Italy Xnet (Spain) WBN - Whistleblower Netzwerk (Germany) Whistleblowing International Network CC: Ms. Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights."

  Bachelet too is a joke, on the firing of whistleblowers and colluding with Guterres' censorship of Press, often away from Geneva at her real home while still drawing her large salary.

  While refusing to answer Inner City Press written questions despite an on camera (broken) promise to do so, Dujarric told those he let into his briefing that Reilly is NOT a whistleblower, and that the UN will not talk about "private" communications - i.e., firing her.

Reilly to Inner City Press: "I was retrospectively placed on special leave with full pay from the moment the UN sent armed police to invade my home. They stopped even pretending I had functions - why bother, when they can just fire any judge at the Tribunal who isn't willing to simply copy-paste their position?  

And I was fired for daring to tell the truth. I am not and have never been accused of lying about this policy, just of revealing it and trying to warn people. The UN "anonymous" source in Le Monde (Eric Tistounet) all but admits the destruction of evidence I've reported - sorry, but a list of names handed over was allegedly stolen? Did the dog eat the UN's homework, too?

I, of course, dutifully reported that directly to the Secretary-General yesterday. The UN has absolutely no idea how many times names were handed over, whose names were transmitted, and whether it continues. Names appear to be now given orally. Still nobody thinks that it's worth investigating why this policy was put in place.  Guterres told me in a personal email once that he would see what he could do about my case with the "people in charge." His words. I guess the Chinese delegation gave its orders. 

Lee outside UN banned
                                            by Guterres
There isn't an amount of money on earth that I could be paid to be complicit in torture and genocide.

The UN considers my lack of "remorse" for that an aggravating factor justifying my immediate dismissal.  I have a message for UN managers. I no longer have immunity. Sue me for defamation if you pretend anything I have ever said is untrue. I will certainly be suing those who lied about me.  And you can quote me on all of that."   

This is today's UN under Guterres: absolutely corrupt. Inner City Press has applied to re-enter and cover it as closely as it does the SDNY court these days; a polite letter to this effect from law firm Quinn Emanuel has yet to be answered by Fleming or any of her allies in censorship. Watch this site. For more on Guterres' UN and China, see (just out) "Belt and Roadkill," here.


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