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As UN No-Comments on Cambodia Court Resignation, HRW Praises UN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 19 -- After Laurent Kasper-Ansermet quit from the UN-affiliated Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), Inner City Press on March 19 asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Deputy Spokesman Eduardo Del Buey about it:

Inner City Press: a second judge of the Cambodian tribunal, extraordinary courts in the chambers of Cambodia has quit, Mr. Kasper-Ansermet, and he said that he has been interfered with by the Cambodian Government and disallowed from investigating further genocide suspects. Given the UN’s role in the court, what’s its response to this second resignation?

Deputy Spokesperson Del Buey: Well, the Secretary-General has received Judge Kasper-Ansermet’s resignation as reserve international Co-Investigating Judge of the ECCC. He is very grateful to Judge Kasper-Ansermet for his service and the situation of the ECCC continues to be of serious concern and we are examining it closely.

Question: This will be, I mean, given what he said publicly that he was undermined by the Government… I mean, do you have more to say, are you going to be naming…?

Deputy Spokesperson: Well, we have no comment at the time being for the reasons for his resignation.

 Ban has been particularly weak on human rights in Cambodia, click here for just one previous Inner City Press story.

   In nine hours after the March 19 "we have no comment," no update of any kind was provided by the UN. Nevertheless, Human Rights Watch chief Ken Roth at 9 pm tweeted that "UN concerned by second judge's resignation from Khmer Rouge tribunal due to Cambodia interference in broader inquiry."

  What was Roth's tweet based on, given what the UN actually said? A UN New Service propaganda article, of course, which ignored what Del Buey actually said.

  Previously, when Inner City Press asked for a summary of at least what issues Roth and HRW had raised in their meeting with Ban Ki-moon, the request was denied. HRW's UN flack Philippe Bolopion, hired as a former journalist covering the UN, replied:

Subject: Re: Press request for read-out of Ken Roth's meeting with Ban Ki-moon, incl re Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Sudan / Haroun, or explanation, thanks
From: Philippe Bolopion [at]
Date: Sat, May 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM
Cc: Ken Roth <>, "" <>
To: "Matthew Russell Lee [at]

Hi Matthew: To preserve our ability to have frank discussions with UN officials and advance our advocacy goals, we don't typically communicate on the content of discussions we have with them.

  Despite this lack of accountability repeatedly being raised -- it seems clear that the big funders of HRW would get such a summary -- no information had been provided. HRW held a press conference largely praising Ban Ki-moon's human rights performance.

  Now, HRW's Ken Roth adopts the UN's own propaganda over what was actually said at the UN. Is it any wonder that Ban Ki-moon gets weaker and weaker on human rights? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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