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After Raiding Press, Ban's UN Shared Photos, Leaked to BuzzFeed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 9 -- After the UN raided Inner City Press' office on March 18, photographs of the Press' desk and bookshelf appeared on on March 22.

  Stephane Dujarric of the UN's Department of Public Information acknowledged that Inner City Press “should have been called before entering” and photographing its office.

  But Dujarric said, “I personally looked at our pictures and those posted on BuzzFeed and it's clear that they are not the same photographs.”

  But the photographs were provided to BuzzFeed, through an anonymous “Concerned UN Reporter” e-mail address, right after BuzzFeed called UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky for comment on the raid.

  Now Inner City Press has learned that multiple officials of the Department of Public Information (DPI) including Dujarric and some outside DPI received e-mailed photographs of Inner City Press' desk and bookshelf on the evening of March 18, while preparing how to respond to media questions about the raid.

  DPI's chief of the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit wrote that she went back to Inner City Press' office and "took pictures.”

It was three of these photographs which appeared on BuzzFeed.

  What does it say about Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's UN that it raids the offices of investigative media which watchdog it, taking and then spreading and leaking photographs to try to undermine its critics?

  Ban Ki-moon today is meeting with Pope Francis; on April 11 after stopping in New York he will meet US President Barack Obama at the White House.

  Are Ban's UN's actions consistent with the First Amendment (and Fourth Amendment) to the US Constitution? No.

  Notably, when the New York Civil Liberties Union asked the UN in July 2012 about its rules, if any, for accrediting and dis-accrediting journalists, it was Dujarric who sent a response with no rules, particularly for dis-accreditation.

  In December 2012, Dujarric who is in charge of UN Television did nothing when UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous directed his spokesman to seize the UNTV microphone to try to avoid an Inner City Press questions about 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army, his partners. Video here.

  Now Tim Witcher of Agence France Presse has complained to UN Security about Inner City Press questions to Ladsous, who is the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping.

   This year, Dujarric has sent Inner City Press a formal letter about its verbatim and on the record quotes from the two top officials of the UN Correspondents Association, Reuters' Louis Charbonneau -- who has asked UN Security to act against the content on Inner City Press' web site -- and Pamela Falk of CBS News, who has twice this year issued legal threats about speech (on the record audio here) and writing, from her e-mail address.

  Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office, which often does not answer and lets Ladsous openly refuse questions, should explain who it contacted after BuzzFeed asked it to comment on the raid.

  The UN corrupts and undermines freedom of the press. This raid under color of law and leaking by anonymous authorities will be pursued. Watch this site.

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