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On UN Day Inner City Press Is Barred by Internal List From Event on Burundi and Cameroon FOIL Foiled

By Matthew Russell Lee, Audio, Video

UNITED NATIONS, October 24 – When Inner City Press was invited to a UN Day event with panelists from Burundi, Syria, Cameroon and South Sudan it said yes, and was told to come to the UN Visitors Entrance with others to be escorted in. But a UN Security officer, while letting in all others, told a UN staffer from UN Women, Matthew Lee is banned. After some time, UN Security Inspector Matthew Sullivan, on whose for profit events in the UN and inordinate political links Inner City Press previously published exclusives, came to the gate. He said You are on the barred list. Inner City Press asked to see the barred list. Sullivan said it is an "internal document" and that UN Security is not a police department - which couldn't do this - but is private. He added that on the Freedom of Information Law request Inner City Press submitted to Mayor Bill de Blasio's Police Department regarding their knowledge of a UN barred list, the UN already spoke to the NYPD, presumably to block release of any information - and to block any due process. Video here.
   Inner City Press has asked the UN: "October 24-2: Please explain how the UN's so-called “barred list” can, as Inspector Sullivan told me today, be considered an “internal document” even to those who have been put on it without due process, and please also immediately describe the UN's contacts to discourage responses to Inner City Press' Freedom of Information requests, to NYPD and elsewhere. Additionally, please today state what was ever done regarding Inspector Sullivan's involvement in for profit events in the UN, and regarding my formal complaint to USG Drennan regarding assault and harassment by Lt Dobbins and others UNnamed." Six hours later, nothing. Watch this site.

Before Sullivan came out, another UN Security supervisor told Inner City Press that filming was "unethical" - and when the camera was off, out came Lt Ronald E Dobbins who assaulted Inner City Press on 3 July 2018, no discipline, no response, still on the payroll. This is the UN on UN Day under Guterres. The UN maintains a secret list of people banned from entering its premises. Even the Security officers who enforce the ban are not told the reason why a person is on the list: whether it was for actual violence, or writing articles questioning the Secretary General Antonio Guterres' misuse of public funds, for example. One told Inner City Press the secret list includes "demonstrators" and "political activists," audio here.

  Guterres or apparently his head of Global Communications Alison Smale, if only as a proxy, can put a journalist on the list without any review, any notice, any appeal. It is a dictator's dream come true.

   Inner City Press was physically ousted twice by Guterres' UN Security this summer as it reported on his now-15 flights to his home in Lisbon with public funds, his trading away of Cameroon human rights abuses for favors in the Budget Committee, and now his son Pedro's undisclosed business links in Africa. Smale on August 17, without once speaking to me covering the UN for Inner City Press for 11 years, withdrew my media accreditation.

  But it's gone further than that. For example, on October 11 I showed up for a film screening about sex trafficking, “Love Sonia,” to which I had been invited by the UN Office of Drugs and Crimes. UNODC's New York director personally put me on the list for a post screening reception and came and met me and took me to the UN gate to sign me in, since my ticket - which she said she'd seen - mysteriously disappeared.

  UN Security refused to allow the NY director of UNODC to sign me in. “Even if he had a ticket we'd have to check,” one officer said. I was told that a supervisor would come out, and that UNODC would speak to them. But after one hour it never happened. Guterres' chief of staff Maria Luiza Viotti left the building and I audibly told her, I'm invited but I'm being blocked. She did not even break stride.

  The UN has given me nothing in writing that I am banned. Guterres' spokesman has stated it as a fact, without explanation or rationale, on October 9 and 11, while refusing to answer my e-mailed questions despite Smale's promise they would be answered to supposedly respect my "journalistic endeavours."

   Another UN Security officer told me, No one is going to help you. You are on the list. I asked him, who else is on the list? He mentioned “demonstrators” and "political activists" and others. Audio here.

  Tellingly, NOT on Guterres' banned list are those who pleaded guilty to UN bribery for example in the Ng Lap Seng - John Ashe case. They are not banned by Guterres, UNlike the journalist who most closely covered those convictions, and the current UN bribery case of Patrick Ho and the China Energy Fund Committee. Guterres is fine with bribery, but bans those who investigate and expose it.

UNSG Guterres thinks he can ban people without no notice, no due process, no review? And that it won't be noticed or reviewed? Watch this site.


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