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For Expo 2020 Dubai UN Guterres' Global Censor Alison Smale Names As Commissioner General Maher Nasser Who Blocks Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive CJR  PFT

UNITED NATIONS GATE, February 2 -- The United Arab Emirates, ostensibly criticized by the UN for jailing human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, recently outed for its spying and censorship, and for the Dubai ruling family's incarceration and worse of Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, is set to be assisted by the UN with Expo 2020 Dubai.   

 Tellingly, the head of UN Secretary General's Department of Global Communcations Alison Smale, who has without due process banned investigative Inner City Press from any entry of the UN since 3 July 2018, is naming as "Commissioner General" of Expo 2020 Dubai her deputy Maher Nasser whose false complaint against Inner City Press as one of the few bases of her exclusion edict.

 While Smale was asked by UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression David Kaye about the lack of due process and how Inner City Press could appeal, she never answered on that. Instead, her response said that Inner City Press' written questions to the Office of the Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric would be answered. But this has not been true, for weeks at a time. Even before former New York Times Berlin bureau chief Smale banned Inner City Press, there was no substantive answer to its questions about whistleblower's complaints to it that Smale diverted funds meant for her Department's swindling Swahili programming to English language social media lavishing praise on Guterres. There is still no public financial disclosure for Smale on the UN's website, unlike officers who came in after her. Smale's email naming Nasser is below. But here's their record with censorship:

 After receiving  from Smale's staffer Tal Mekel at 6 pm on Friday 20 October 2017 a letter clearly drafted by Nasser, Inner City Press immediately published a story about it. The Free UN Coalition for Access, an actual press freedom advocacy group which UN official Hua Jiang had threatened Inner City Press' accreditation for posting a sign for on its then UN office door, put out a press release and flier. And on Monday 23 March 17 before 11 am Inner City Press sent the following to Smale and to Guterres and his deputy Amina J. Mohammed: "The UN threat letter sent to me after 5 pm on Friday, attached, coming as it does as Inner City Press pursues stories not only of UN corruption but, most pressingly, inaction amid mass killings in Cameroon and elsewhere is troubling... As to Mr Nasser's misuse of the DPI / MALU threat process to try to win an argument he escalated on Twitter on October 19, saying I should be less negative about the UN when I noted how many clicks it takes to find sexual abuse and exploitation information on the new DPKO site he promoted - before he blocked me on Twitter on October 20 -- great outreach there, now communications are broken off -- the audio linked to in the article is from the stakeout area by the Secretariat lobby elevators. It did not violate even this rule that the DPI and DSS mis-negotiated, not with the press corps but a subset of the UN Correspondents Association, whose members by the way do not obtain or even seek prior consent for recording, and membership in which is not and cannot be required to be a resident correspondent." But Smale, using Nasser's bogus complaint and ignoring Inner City Press' response, has banned Inner City Press for 213 days and counting.

Here now is her email naming her deputy Censor to head an Exposition of Censorship in the UAE: "From: Julie James Sent: Friday, January 25, 2019 9:56 PM To: Alison Smale [and members of the UN Communications Group] Subject: Nomination of UN Commissioner General for Expo 2020 Dubai - Message from USG Smale     Dear Colleagues,   As those of you who were at the UNCG Principals meeting in Madrid in November 2017 will recall, one of the agenda items was planning for UN participation at Expo 2020 Dubai. Since that discussion, we have not received any formal interest from UNCG members to take a lead role in planning for the Expo.   Recent contacts with the Dubai organizers meanwhile have indicated their preference for the UN Secretariat to take the lead and ensure a coherent UN participation at the Expo. The organizers have also confirmed that there will be a UN Pavilion and they have asked for UN engagement and to start a coordination process with all concerned. I understand that separate discussions and outreach have been made by the Expo organizers to some of you in relation to the Opportunities Pavilion.   In view of the theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” and the coordination role played by the Department of Global Communications, I intend, in order to start planning for the Expo as soon as possible, to nominate Mr. Maher Nasser, Director of our Outreach Division as the UN Commissioner-General for Expo 2020.   Maher brings to this role over 31 years of UN experience, 13 of which have been with the Department, a thorough knowledge of the work of the United Nations and the issues on its agenda, and strong connections with UN system leadership and all of you. He is further able to build on established connections with UAE officials to ensure that their plans for a UN Pavilion are reflective of the work and priorities of the  United Nations System. In view of the need to start active planning, I will proceed with the nomination of Maher as Commissioner General to the Secretary-General pending any response from you by 30 January. We look forward to working with you to leverage the opportunity of Expo 2020 to showcase the UN at its innovative best, working together for a common goal, and creating a peaceful and prosperous world for a better future.   All best, Alison   Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications  Julie James Special Assistant to the Director Strategic Communications Division Department of Global Communications."

  And there's this, from Smale's Department now known as Guterres' Department of Global Censorship:

"From: malu Date: Wed, Jan 2, 2019 at 12:23 PM Subject: U.N. eAccreditation request for Matthew LEE Ref# M72295425 has been declined   

"Greetings Matthew LEE from ICP     INNER CITY PRESS,  Your media accreditation request, with reference no: M72295425, has been declined for the following reason: Accreditation was withdrawn on 17 August 2018."

   No due process, no road map to return, pure censorship. We will not rest. We'll have more on this.


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