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In UN, Ban Ki-moon's Censorship Partners Mock Woman Alleging Sexual Harassment

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 8 – The group UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave lunch and quotes to on February 7, the Executive Committee of the UN Correspondents Association, is not only engaged in censorship and trying to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN.

As became more evident on February 8, they are also prepared to mock a woman complaining of sexual harassment, and to make anonymous postings to this effect. This is Ban Ki-moon's UN Censorship Alliance: UNCA.

  On the morning of February 8 an off the record briefing was held at a UN member state's mission. Because it was deemed off the record, Inner City Press which like the UNCA Executive Committee members and some others attended, is not stating which country's mission it was.

  A UN accredited journalist, also on the list and let into the mission, was seated when she was asked into the entrance to speak with a mission representative. She was asked to leave; she asked Inner City Press and another member of the Free UN Coalition to Access to try to mediate.

   This proved impossible. But during the discussion, the UNCA Executive Committee members gawked through the open door, and mocked the woman who was being asked to leave.

   Finally the woman came into the briefing room and asserted, with quaking voice, that she was being asked to leave due to a past case of quid pro quo sexual harassment. “He tried to conquer me,” she said.

   Several UNCA Executive Committee members laughed openly. The Wall Street Journal's part time UN correspondent Joe Lauria joked, “Did anyone get that on tape? How can I cover it if I don't have it on tape?”

   But none of the UNCA Executive Committee members present, including UNCA President Pamela Falk of CBS, covered the woman's complaint.

  Rather, through a counterfeit social media account they established, they joked that the woman, identifying her as a FUNCA member, "was expelled from [name of country's] briefing" and said that Inner City Press "broke solidarity and stayed."

   The woman in question has now authorized and asked Inner City Press to write about her case. The briefer, in fairness, is one of the most astute UN observers.

   Back inside the UN, Inner City Press for FUNCA asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman a question about Ban's favoring of UNCA despite its record – a question that got cut off and censored from UNTV, click here for that.

  Meanwhile upstairs on UN press(second)  floor material was torn down from the door to Inner City Press' cubible office, and a new flyer was posted: “We will not be conquered!”

Inner City Press cubicle door at UN Feb 8, 2013: Ban Ki-moon not shown

   This is a reference to the woman's sexual harassment claim. This is taking place inside the UN, on the second floor over the Dag Hammarskjold Library, by the group that Ban Ki-moon partners with on media matters.

 The tearing down of FUNCA flyers and the counterfeiting has been raised to UN officials, including at least one in attendance at Ban's February 7 session with the UNCA Executive Committee, and "new" UNCA President Pam Falk, have been made aware, but both have continued.

Ban Ki-moon's UNCA Lunch of the Lost, Feb 7, 2013, credit Evan Schneider, UNPhoto. From left: OSSG's Del Buey; Denis Fitzgerald of Saudi Press Agency; OSSG's Nesirky; Melissa Kent of CBC; Sylviane Zehil of L'Orient le Jour; Tim Witcher of AFP; Ali Barada of An-Nahar; Ban Ki-moon, Kahraman Halicelik of Turkish Radio & TV; Pamela S. Falk of CBS; Lou Charbonneau of Reuters; Bouchra Benyoussef of Maghreb Arab Press; Yasuomi Sawa of Kyodo News; Masood Haider of Dawn; Unkonwn; Zhenqiu Gu of Xinhua; Stephane Dujarric of UN DPI

  Who are followers of UNCA's counterfeit social media account now mocking a woman alleging sexual harassment?

   These include UNCA first vice president Louis Charbonneau of Reuters, as well as his predecessor Evelyn Leopold and his co-worker Michelle Nichols, whose news sense is tweeting on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Did that anger them, or a reference to Charbonneau's stumpy blazer? Reuters is responsible for them, even their thinly veiled "anonymous" mocking of those alleging sexual harassment.

    Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reflect the adoption of a policy of not responding to any Inner City Press question or complaint on the part of Reuters editors Stephen J. Adler, Walden Siew, and Paul Ingrassia, and the more anonymous editors of Agence France Presse.

  The followers include two reporters of another wire service cited favorably by Ban's spokesman on February 8.

   They include the former UK spokesman Daniel Shepherd and the current spokesman for the French Mission to the UN, Brieuc Pont, as well two French reporters at the UN: Karim Lebhour of RFI and Adele Smith of Le Figaro. Joe Lauria of the WSJ, with his less than 300 followers, after laughing at the woman alleging sexual harassment, has also followed.

   The followers also include Voice of America, whose Margaret Besheer pushed to get Inner City Press expelled from the UN in 2012, saying she had the support of Charbonneau of Reuters and Tim Witcher of Agence France Presse. There are more, and there is more to say. Watch this site.

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