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As Palestine's Erekat Speaks, UNTV Goes Dark, Protest by FUNCA

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 20 -- Monday's UN meeting on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People featured negotiator Saeb Erekat; it was listed in the UN Journal as being open and (UN) televised. And at the beginning it was.

Erekat said, for example, that since 2009 Netanyahu has averaged 11 settler housing units every day. Then the UNTV screen went black, with the sign: "The Meeting is Closed."

  Inner City Press ran to the Economic and Social Council chamber and asked a UN Security guard, who did not say the meeting was closed. Inner City Press went to the balcony; Erekat was still speaking.

  On behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access, this question was sent to the chief of the Department of Public Information and the manager of UNTV, which has also of late cut off when Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari was speaking.

  (As Inner City Press reported, and FUNCA complained about, UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous had his spokesman seize the UNTV microphone to try to avoid a Press question about the 135 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army. This has still not be publicly addressed.)

While we wait the response of UNTV or DPI, including on other issues raised by FUNCA, about the reforms to the UN Media Access Guidelines that FUNCA proposed in February, snafus with the move and the "fakeout at the stakeout" conducted by UK prime minister David Cameron and Reuters / UNCA last week, here is an Inner City Press tweeted photo from inside the clearly open meeting on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

 Apparently even the right to be accessible to the public as promised in the UN Journal is not "inalienable." Watch this site.

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