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Lawless UN Has No Answer on Haiti, Threatens for Free Speech, Favors Sycophants

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 3 -- This UN has become lawless, in matters large and small. Big picture, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon tersely denied 5,000 legal claims based on the UN bringing cholera to Haiti, and has yet to respond to a letter from 19 members of the US Congress about it.

  Smaller, but just today, Ban's UN imposed a new rule of "no media workspace" in front of the UN Security Council, going so far as to seize a small work table put there by Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access -- but refused to say whether the rule has gone into effect.

  The same rule would prohibit substantive FUNCA fliers about the reduction in media workspace and access -- but on Monday the UN Correspondents Association which has said nothing about the loss of a Security Council work table erected a large bulletin board. But it has nothing to say. That's just the way the UN likes it.

  From the transcript of Monday's UN noon briefing:

Inner City Press: There has been some back and forth about these media access guidelines or rules, but this morning, since there was no table, I put a small table there to work on in order to cover the bi-laterals. And returning there from the ATT [Arms Trade Treaty] stakeout, the table was gone and I was told the lady from DPI [Department of Public Information] took it. So, I am wanting to know: what are the rules? Did these rules which would seek to prohibit media workspace in front of the Security Council, have they gone into effect, or are they still being considered? And why was the small table actually used for work in covering the Council taken?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: Well, I know you’ve had extensive exchanges both with my colleague Eduardo [del Buey], sitting here in the past couple of weeks; and also with Stéphane Dujarric. I don’t have anything to add on that at this point.

Inner City Press: the reason I ask that is just because it seems like the UN often talks about rules, and transparency and since it moved and since it was foreseeable, I wasn’t aware that there was already a ban in effect on work space. That’s why I put the table there. But it’s gone.

Spokesperson Nesirky: As I say, Matthew, I don’t have anything to add to the extensive exchanges you’ve had with a number of people, primarily with Eduardo and Stéphane. Any other questions?

Inner City Press: Would you tell us when the rules go into effect? I just wanna know when.

Spokesperson: Matthew, you can put the question any way you like; I don’t have anything further to add to the extensive exchanges you’ve already had, okay?

But these "exchanges" have not answered the basic question: have these rules gone into effect? Who agreed to them? Who drafted these paragraphs:

"f. The Security Council stakeout area, including the Turkish Lounge, is not to be used as a permanent workspace for the media. When the Council is not in session, correspondents should minimize the amount of time in the area, unless interviewing or conversing with a U.N. delegate or official."


"Posting of notices is restricted to the bulletin boards provided by DPI, including the UNCA bulletin board (by U.N. Correspondents Association officials), and the General Access Bulletin Board (by all accredited correspondents). Signs posted on doors are limited to entry restrictions, for example, 'do not disturb' or 'on air' or the identification of your organization. All other notices (e.g. announcement of meetings/event, press releases) are prohibited unless specifically authorized by Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU).

"Failure to adhere to guidelines in this document can be grounds for withdrawal or suspension of accreditation."

   So a journalist faces "withdrawal of accreditation" for free speech. The above has been edited to be less personal. But.. Watch this site.

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