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UN Charges ICP Misconduct For Sign-in Yemeni Nobel Winner, Serving Sri Lanka?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 14, updated -- Two days after Inner City Press signed in to the UN as a guest Yemeni Nobel Prize winner Tawakkol Karman, who ultimately spoke to the Press and others about Syria and the Arab Spring, the UN's response has been to now charge Inner City Press with misconduct. See full e-mail here.

  This comes after this same Ban Ki-moon Media Accreditation & Liaison Unit blocked Inner City Press from covering the alleged war criminal Sri Lankan general Shavendra Silva advising Ban on peacekeeping, and then reneged on its commitment to renew Inner City Press' accreditation on June 4, amid death threats against Inner City Press from Sinhalese extremists supportive of Sri Lanka's government.

  Significantly, back in October 2011 Inner City Press also signed in Tawakkol Karman, who then spoke on the UN Television camera at the stakeout. Inner City Press at that time -- before challenging Ban and his MALU about Shavendra Silva -- received no complaint at all, and Tawakkol Karman's stakeout was broadcast and put on the UNTV archive.

  This time, Tawakkol Karman's question and answer session, conducted under the not-disapproving eye of UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant and UN Envoy Jamal Benomar, among many others including other media which used quotes from the stakeout, was NOT broadcast live, and despite promises by Ban spokesman Martin Nesirky and MALU supervisor Stephane Dujarric was not, even mid-day the day after, put on the UNTV Archive.

 Inner City Press worked and put online its own hand-held video of the morning on its YouTube channel here: this depicts what Inner City Press is being charged with misconduct for. All this takes place in the run-up to the Department of Public Information being taken over by Ban's Austrian pick, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal.

As reported here and, for example, by the Sri Lanka Campaign which is chaired by Kofi Annan's former communications director Edward Mortimer, Ban's UN is at a minimum playing into the hands of Sri Lanka extremists by publicly calling into question Inner City Press' accreditation as a journalist at the UN, here with MALU chief Isabelle Broyer using the word "misconduct" for signing in a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

By contrast, when a controversial screening was arranged in the UN's Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium featuring Shavendra Silva and his fellow alleged war criminal and Sri Lankan diplomat Palitha Kohona, the UN did nothing.

In fact, Inner City Press' reporting about Silva's and Kohona's appearance to screen a government propaganda film "Lies Agreed To," which purported to rebut the UK Channel 4 documentary "Killing Fields of Sri Lanka" which was NOT shown in the UN due to a celebration for Ban Ki-moon, has triggered a proceeding which has given rise to death threats against Inner City Press' UN reporter, one of them copied to Marie Okabe and two others in Ban's UN Secretariat.

Part of the threats is the repetition of what some Ban senior advisers have whispered, that Inner City Press must be funded by the (defunct) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, since it asks questions about the 40,000 civilians killed by the government in Sri Lanka in May 2009.

So the UN has fanned the anti Press flames leading to death threats, and now accuses Inner City Press of "misconduct" and seeks to move closer to expelling it, for having signed into the UN a Nobel Peace Prize winner. This is Ban Ki-moon's United Nations. Watch this site.

Update of 10:29 am -- the UN's response to the above is this quibble (at the time Inner City Press wrote about the failure to put the stakeout online, it was not online, that was the point.) But we publish this:

From: Stephane Dujarric [at]
Date: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Subject: Re: to stakeout S-G's Special Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations
To: Inner City Press

Contrary to what your write in your latest piece, the video of your guest was put on the webcast yesterday, as I had to told you it would.

The reference in the header to "stakeout S-G's Special Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations" is to Dujarric's DPI and Broyer's MALU hiding behind "non-UN" parties to block coverage of alleged war criminal Sri Lankan general Shavendra Silva serving on Ban Ki-moon's Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations, even after saying they would facilitate it or be happy to help: never explained.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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