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UN Maher Nasser Partner in Censorship in UN and UAE Silent Across 1st Ave On Q of Guterres Useless

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive CJR  PFT

UNITED NATIONS GATE, February 20 -- 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, as Inner City Press exclusively reported on February 2, 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, was 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.

 On February 20 when Inner City Press was called on - unlike in the UN from which it has banned now for the 231st day - and asked a question about Antonio Guterres neglecting to even attend the UNSC's urgent January 26 meeting on Venezuela and being called useless and worse in the US Senate, Nasser was present - but said nothing. He is responsible for the banning of Inner City Press from the UN, with a false complaint and not statement or action in the last 231 days. We'll have more, much more, on this.

  After publishing its exclusive, Inner City Press in writing asked Smale, who has promised answers, and Spokesman Stephane Dujarric as well as Guterres himself, "in the context of the Pope's comments in the UAE, immediately describe the UN system's role and financing, in or out, for 2020 Expo Dubai and the SG's view of freedom of expression and academic freedom in the UAE and what the UN's involvement will do to advance these - or not. The Pope in the UAE called  on countries throughout the Gulf region to extend citizenship rights to religious minorities.  The pope called for "societies where people of different beliefs have the same right of citizenship and where only in the case of violence in any of its forms is that right removed."  Citizenship rights in the United Arab Emirates are predominantly reserved for native-born Muslims?" Smale, Guterres and Dujarric answered. But with the latter two on the road again on February 8 deputy Farhan Haq read out: " I am happy to announce that the Secretary-General has designated Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division in our very own Department of Global Communications, as Commissioner-General for the Organization’s participation in Expo 2020 in the United Arab Emirates.   The theme of the Dubai Expo 2020 — “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” — is in line with the United Nations strategic focus on youth and innovation.  The international exposition runs from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021.  The Department of Global Communications, in close collaboration with other UN system entities, will leverage the opportunity of Expo 2020 to showcase the central role of the Organization as a proponent of ideas, a catalyst for action and a driver of multilateral solutions to global problems.  Mr. Nasser has over 30 years of experience working with the UN in multiple duty stations, and at the Department of Global Communications.  More in a press release in our office." Inner City Press is banned, 219 days now, and can't reach that office. Only four correspondents asked questions on February 8, none on this, be design. The UN is dying, or more accurately is being killed, by the above-named.

 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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