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AFP's Witcher, Complaining to UN Security, Said His Way'd Be “Kick Out” ICP

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 11 -- Agence France Presse scribe Tim Witcher, who has now filed a frivolous UN Security complaint against Inner City Press of which no copy has yet been provided, stated as far back as June 2012 that his way would be to get Inner City Press “kicked out.” Audio here.

  So what does the UN do with a not only frivolous, but clearly pre-textual complaint?

   Inner City Press is waiting to receive a copy of the complaint, and to be told what UN rules apply (information about basic due process rules for journalists at the UN was withheld even from the New York Civil Liberties Union, click here for that.)

  UN Security on Monday afternoon informed Inner City Press that AFP's Witcher and a correspondent of Reuters have tried to convert a verbal disagreement about their use by the UN into a complaint to which Inner City Press is supposed to respond -- without seeing a copy.

   For now, here is yet more context, which UN Security should have checked, or still should check, before processing a frivolous and pretextual complaint from Tim Witcher or AFP.

   Back in June 2012, months after Witcher had asked the UN Correspondents Association to censure Inner City Press for a story it wrote about Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row put by France atop UN Peacekeeping, Witcher was told, again, that no one at AFP had been the source any of Inner City Press' reporting.

   The French Mission to the UN looked bad when Inner City Press reported that they hadn't known that Ladsous was the last minute replacement for Jerome Bonnafont, the name the Mission gave to French media just before the UN's announcement of Ladsous.

In the attached audio, for context, Witcher insists that despite having STARTED the UNCA proceeding to censure Inner City Press, he had not been the drafter, because if it had been up to him, “you would have been kicked out.” Audio here.

Witcher of AFP, March 8, 2013, Ladsous not shown, thanks UN Multimedia

   In this context, Witcher's March 2013 UN Security complaint about a purely verbal disagreement -- again about Witcher serving as a pass through for, or being a lapdog of, Herve Ladsous -- must be seen as what it is: a cynical and pre-textual complaint which attempt to accomplish what Witcher spoke about in June 2012.

   This is one reason AFP, at least at the UN, is becoming known to stand for Anti Free Press, just as during Witcher's and Charbonneau's tenure, now along with Pamela Falk of CBS, UNCA is functioning as the UN's Censorship Alliance.

Inner City Press is requesting a copy of the complaint, and of due process rules the UN should have, which have also been formally requested by the New York Civil Liberties Union and now by the new Free UN Coalition for Access. Watch this site.

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