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As UN Security Cited As Source of Bar on Inner City Press USG Peter Drennan Retaliation For Story Requires Reversal

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video CJR PFT

UNITED NATIONS, December 18 – When the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet scheduled an event in the UN on December 18 Inner City Press got an invitation, RSVP-ed and was told, "You have registered for our event on Tuesday, 18 December 2018 at 1:15 in the ECOSOC Chamber, UNHQ with the 2018 UN Human Rights Prize awardees. As you indicated that you need a pass for UNHQ, please come to the main visitor's gate on 1st avenue at 46th street at 12:30pm.  Colleagues will be there at the foot of the steps with your passes." Inner City Press went, but the OHCHR staffers did not have the referenced pass; one of them told Inner City Press that OHCHR had been told, and had not questioned, that Inner City Press is "barred" from the UN. Minutes later this barring was, by Under Secretary General Alison Smale, blamed on "UN Security." Inner City Press' last contact with UN Security was when it was roughed up by Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins on 3 July 2018, then interviewed by two UN DSS Officers, Raugn Perry and Valenin Stancu, about it (here) and Inner City Press' July 4 complaint to the NY Police Department. Inner City Press filed a written complaint with UN Security Under Secretary General Peter Drennan which USG Smale said was being processed. But nothing has come of it except this retaliatory ban.

  In fact, if it is the position of Antonio Guterres' Secretariat that this ban is all the work of Drennan's DSS, it must be noted that Inner City Press before the rough up and ban published an exclusive story based on an email leaked (here with 4,400 views) to it from another senior DSS official alleging that Drennan covered up a threat against then UNSG candidate Irina Bokova. Drennan's response to Inner City Press' story was to try to find the leaker(s), by triangulating where the email could have been printed out. That was retaliation, and is lawless ban surely is. It is ultimately not only Smale's but Guterres' responsibility. We will have more on this, and the abuse of Guterres using UN Security, angry like he is at Inner City Press' stories, to do his dirty work which must now be reversed. On December 18 coming out of the UN just then was Under Secretary General for Global Communications Alison Smale, for a photo op holding a Proclamation by NYC Mayor de Blasio with his Commissioner for International Affairs, Penny Abeywardena. Since it was Smale who in a 17 August 2018 ruling without any hearing or appeal withdrew Inner City Press' media accreditation, Inner City Press waited to ask her about this total ban. When Smale finished speaking with Abeywardena, with whose Office Inner City Press has a pending and delayed NYS Freedom of Information Law request regarding NYC's role in the UN barring political activists and journalist, Inner City Press asked. Video here. Smale said the total bar was the decision of UN Security - but when Inner City Press politely pointed out part of her role, said she will take it under advisement. For now it must be noted that Smale's letter to UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye said that Inner City Press complaint to UN Security about being roughed up by UN Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins and five others unnamed is being processed. That was three month ago and the only outcome is retaliation by UN Security, the barred list, with the acquiescence or order of SG Antonio Guterres and Smale. We'll have more on this.

The December 18 UN Human Rights office event Inner City Press was barred from featured Ms. Rebeca Gyumi – activist for the rights of women and girls (Tanzania)
Ms. Asma Jahangir (posthumously, represented by Ms. Munizae Jahangir) – human rights lawyer (Pakistan)
Ms. Joênia Wapichana (Joênia Batista de Carvalho) – activist for the rights of indigenous peoples (Brazil)
Front Line Defenders (represented by Mr. Andrew Anderson) – an organization advocating and working for the protection of human rights defenders (Ireland).

Inner City Press has asked Bachelet and her assistant, and Andrew Gilmour, "Particularly since you are the UN Office of the High Commissioner for *Human Rights,* did you not ask why a journalist who asks the Secretary General and his spokesmen about the killings in Cameroon, Burundi, UN corruption, UN peacekeepers' sexual abuse of civilians, and Sri Lanka, is “BARRED” from attending your human rights event - without any hearing or appeal? I will appreciate your Office's answer to this."  We'll have more on this.


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