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UN Maher Nasser After Threatening Press' Accreditation Censors It At Book Event With UNIS Link

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 16 – The UN Department of Public Information has hit a new low. DPI Deputy - three times passed over for the top job, see below - Maher Nasser was the moderator of an event in the UN Bookstore on November 16. After having tried to censor Inner City Press' question in advance on October 24, this time Nasser simply refused to call on Inner City Press, despite it being the second in the audience to raise its hand. Instead, Nasser himself asked three (lame) questions, then said "Only two or three more questions" and called on three other people. Inner City Press' question, about Saudi led coalition's, including Egypt's, war on Yemen and the UN's inaction or worse was not asked. Nasser is a censor, and the information we are receiving about the reason for his short tenure on the board of the UN International School (the link to one of the two authors on November 16, Scott J. Shapiro who appeared with Oona A. Hathaway presenting “The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan to Outlaw War Remade the World”) should have gotten him removed from the UN, not only being passed over three times for the top job (after which most self-respecting applicants would simply leave.) But this is how the UN works: a dumping ground for mediocre ideologues who become more arrogant and bitter and lawless as times goes by, and all on the public dime. It it happening throughout DPI - we'll have more on this.

On October 24 at the book launch in the UN of  "Oppenheim's International Law, United Nations" on October 24, when it came time for question and answer Inner City Press was the first and then only with a question. Still, Department of Public Information moderator Maher Nasser said he wished to remind Inner City Press that this was not a press conference - whatever that means - and "don't make it about yourself." Video here. He has done this before, to try to avoid and now discourage questions about such topics as UN sexual abuse in the Central African Republic where Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived on October 24, UN cholera in Haiti and UN corruption as exposed in the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe case. Afterward several who heard it said, "What's wrong with that guy?" The broader question: what's wrong with the UN that it allows the Number Two official in DPI to do this, and to abuse his position to threaten the accreditation of Inner City Press as it asks Guterres about sexual abuse in CAR, and inaction on mass killings in Cameroon? (Nasser then blocked Inner City Press on Twitter.) It has been raised to the occupant of the position Nasser has twice unsuccessfully sought, Alison Smale, without response. The authors of this new book, Dame Rosalyn Higgins and Dapo Akande among others, however, did respond (here) noting there are some few circumstances in which resource can be sought against the UN, with the UN's consent. Video here.

All this has to change. On October 20 the UN delivered a threat to Inner City Press to “review” it accreditation on Friday afternoon at 5 pm. The UN official who signed the letter, when Inner City Press went to ask about the undefined violation of live-streaming Periscope video at a photo op by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, had already left, minutes after sending the threat. This comes two days after Inner City Press asked Guterres about the UN inaction on threatened genocide in Cameroon, and the UN claimed Guterres hadn't heard the 15-second long question.

  It also comes after Alison Smale the head of the Department of Public Information which would “review” Inner City Press' accreditation has ignored three separate petitions from Inner City Press in the six weeks she has been in the job, urging her to remove restrictions on Inner City Press' reporting which hinder its coverage of the UN's performance in such crises as Yemen, Kenya, Myanmar, and the Central African Republic where Guterres travels next week, with Smale's DPI saying its coverage of the trip will be a test of its public relations ability. But the UN official who triggered the complaint is Maher Nasser, who filled in for Smale before she arrived.

UN's Letter Threatening to Review Inner City Press' Accreditation for Audio Report While Staking Out on Cam... by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd

His complaint is that audio of what he said to Inner City Press as it staked out the elevators in the UN lobby openly recording, as it has for example with Cameroon's Ambassador Tommo Monthe, here, was similarly published

A UN “Public Information” official is complaining about an article, and abusing his position to threaten to review Inner City Press' accreditation. The UN has previously been called out for targeting Inner City Press, and for having no rules or due process. But the UN is entirely UNaccountable, impunity on censorship as, bigger picture, on the cholera it brought to Haiti. And, it seems, Antonio Guterres has not reformed or reversed anything. This threat is from an official involved in the last round of retaliation who told Inner City Press on Twitter to be less "negative" about the UN - amid inaction on the mass killing in Cameroon - and who allowed pro-UN hecking of Inner City Press' questions about the cholera the UN brought to Haiti and the Ng Lap Seng /John Ashe UN bribery scandal which resulted in six guilty verdicts. We'll have more on this.


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