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Suspended UN Pornographer Opposed Gays, Liked Dogs, As Higher Ups Escape

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, December 18 -- For months Inner City Press has heard of an investigation by the Office of Internal Oversight Services into widespread use of UN equipment and time to view pornography. On December 11, the New York Post broke the story in a short 130-word article, naming a single UN staff member, "Mario Antonio, of the Philippines." He is a relatively lower level staffer, General Service rather than Professional or Director, employed in the Plant Engineering Section of the Office of Central Support Services.

  The narrative in the Report of Investigation, marked Strictly Confidential by the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services but  obtained by Inner City Press and put online here -- says that he sent pornography to at least 72 other UN staff members. And what did they do with the images? One of the recipients was in OIOS itself; 61 were in the Department of Management, 13 in Security and two in the Department of Public Information.

  Mario Anthony's defense, included in the Report, was to describe his "understanding of pornography as 'any extreme sexual activity,' for example, sexual activity between same sex individuals."

  The Report includes reference to a video clip found on Mario Anthony's computer, sent out by email under the header "GERMAN," portraying a woman engaged in sex with a German Shepherd dog. To fit in with Anthony's defense, it must have been a male dog, one wag quipped.

   On December 12, the day after the article, Mario Anthony was suspended without pay. Inner City Press asked the UN's associate spokesperson, "Can you confirm that there is a wider investigation? Is this the only person that was being looked at or is there an ongoing investigation?"  The Associate Spokesperson answered, "This is all that I can say about this."

At the UN, many screens - but who is watching whom (and what)?

   It seems unfair to throw a low level staffer to the wolves, to suspend him without pay, while the investigation is known to involve much higher UN officials. Who leaked the name of Mario Antonio? Sources say it came from within OIOS itself. Was this done to take the air out of the balloon of the wider investigation, to let off the hook higher level officials?  There are others implicated, including within OIOS itself.   So where is OIOS on this? Watch this site.

Footnote: as France on Thursday presented a declaration calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality, Syria and Egypt presented an alternative, an earlier draft of which denounced bestiality. Inner City Press asked France's Rama Yade to respond to the Syrian text, and to the legal challenge to France's violation of human rights announced this week by Sikhs who say that by France requiring them to remove their turbans, their religious rights are being infringed. Rama Yade did not answer the latter. Video here.

  Perhaps, a reporter suggested, Rama Yade is embarrassed by France's position. No more embarrassed than Mario Antonio...

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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

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