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Ban Ki-moon's UN Tries to Impose One Party System, Banning the Press & Dissent, All but One Group's Signs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 14 -- In the midst of reducing media access to the Security Council and General Assembly, the UN outlawed fliers which questioned the changes in policy, posted  by the new Free UN Coalition for Access.

  Now the UN seeks to ban FUNCA's name from any journalist's office door, while allowing at least two signs of its UN Censorship Alliance, UNCA.

  Before putting this into a Kafka-esque rule about fliers and where journalists can and cannot work, staff of the UN Department of Public Information and scribes from Agence France Presse and Reuters simply tore FUNCA's fliers down, and in some cases defaced and even counterfeited them.

   The rules were agreed to by the old UN Correspondents Association, and now comes the punchline.

 While UNCA is given a large office at the top of the escalator on which two separate UNCA signs are posted, on June 14 DPI, contrary to previous communication, told Inner City Press which co-founded FUNCA that it cannot display a simple Free UN Coalition for Access sign on its door.

   UNCA and DPI, together the UN's Censorship Alliance, are essentially trying to create a one party system. Despite the fact that UNCA does not represent all UN resident correspondents, and that in 2012 the UNCA Executive Committee devoted most of its meetings to trying to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN for articles it wrote, the UN now tries through rules to outlaw any other organization.

  DPI on March 18, 2013 conducted a non-consensual raid of Inner City Press' office, during which UNCA president Pamela Falk took photographs. Later Falk issued a legal threat through her e-mail address demanding the Press "cease and desist" from even questioning for what purpose she took the photos.

  On March 21, right after BuzzFeed called Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky, photos taken during the raid, including of Inner City Press' desk and bookshelf, were leaked to BuzzFeed via an anonymous "Concerned UN Reporter" e-mail account. These photographs are identical to ones e-mailed around by DPI.

  Now, after close of business on Friday, June 14 comes this, from the UN: "the posting of notices policy does apply to the FUNCA sign... I am afraid you will have to take the sign down."

   While the UN Department of "Public" Information is on a witch hunt about dissent, it is not doing its job.

  Long ago DPI said that there would be intra-UN telephones to call the peacekeeping missions in the "focus booths." But there are no phones -- and no chairs. Others complain of the needlessly low wall of cubicles; in the wall just above Inner City Press' door, and the FUNCA sign as issue, there is a UN Security camera.

  An African photographer constantly at the UN is being told he should go through the metal detector on each entrance, while a photographer with AFP, who rarely comes to the UN, is considered a resident correspondent, no metal detector.

  There is still no table or surface to type on at the Security Council, as existed before and during the relocation. All space for the public and press to view the General Assembly has been eliminated.

  And DPI is focused on... banning fliers and even the sign of an alternative organization which dissents. Watch this site.

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