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On Syria, UN Censors Try to Cut Off Questions, Ask Who the Questioner Works For

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 4 -- On Syria during Wednesday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's associate spokesperson Farhan Haq to respond to Syria's August 31 statement that the US, France and UK lobbied for the UN to NOT look into WHO used chemical weapons at Khan al Asal.

  Haq repeated Ban's statement from the day before in his two-question press conference: that Ban made the decision.

  Inner City Press asked if Ban agrees with his predecessor Kofi Annan, speaking for The Elders, that member states should await the UN report before reaching conclusions and deciding on action, as is taking place in the US Congress.
   Haq said Ban would have no comment, citing sovereignty.

  Another journalist, accredited with a Pacifica radio station and a member of the Free UN Coalition for Access, asked about depleted uranium and about the story by the former AP string based on interviews, that the chemical weapons in Ghouta came through Saudi sources.

  Before Haq could answer, another journalist in the front row who often speaks for the UN Correspondents Association tried to cut the question off. She was (and is) at the left hand of UNCA's 2013 president Pamela Falk of CBS. FUNCA says this is not how it is supposed to work, establishment scribes silencing or purporting to answer the questions of others.

Worse, as soon as the briefing was over this UNCA spokesperson immediately went to UN spokesperson Haq demanding to know, "Who does she work for?"

  This is how it works with the UN's Censorship Alliance, which held a faux "UN briefing" with Saudi backed Syria rebel boss Jarba which the UN is still not answering Press questions about. Beyond trying to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN, they try to cut off others' questioning.

  The Pacifica reporter, referring to a history with this Reuters "retiree," inquired with Haq but got no satisfaction. He or the Department of Public Information through which Ban "partners" with this UN Censorship Alliance should at a minimum remind these insiders that all journalists have a right to ask their questions, and get answers from the UN spokesperson, not insider scribes. Watch this site.


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