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On Mali Journalist Detained for Report on Corruption, UN Has Nothing to Say

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 7 -- Mali is the UN's new focus, or cash cow. But even there, Ban Ki-moon's UN cannot speak up for media harassed by security services for reporting on corruption. It is any surprise?

At the March 7 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's chief spokesperson Martin Nesirky:

Inner City Press: In Mali, a journalist has been detained by the security agents, his name is Boukary Daou, and his paper published an open letter about the financial package given to Captain Sanogo, the coup leader. Now he has been essentially arrested and taken in for questioning. So I am wondering, particularly given the UN… I am not sure of the status of the UN presence, I know that they are there. Are they aware of this arrest of a journalist for what seems to be a pretty much free-speech activity and do they have any comment on it? Have they spoken to the Government about it? What do they think of it?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: Well, I think you are aware that we do have a UN office in Mali. It is a multidisciplinary team that also includes a human rights component. So I will check to see what they have to say about that, okay? It is obvious that journalists should be allowed to carry out their work, and particularly of an investigative nature. They should be allowed to carry out that work. Let me see what the mission has to say on that.

   There was no answer, eight hours later and counting.

  The UN's Mali juggernaut is set to be run by Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping (Profile; Short Film #LADSOUS2013).

  Ladsous has refused to answer Inner City Press questions about 126 rapes in Minova by his partners in the Congolese Army. Finally on March 7 his DPKO spoonfed vague answers to friendly journalists.

   This is how the media is dealt with in this UN: the friendly ones are used, those who report on corruption? See above, and see false complaints to Inner City Press by UN Media Accreditation boss Stephane Dujarric. Watch this site.

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