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Rigoberta Menchu Tells ICP of Killings in Guatemala, Vietnam Bans Visa?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 22 -- During the World Conference on Indigenous People, Inner City Press asked Rigoberta Menchu about recent killings of indigenous people in Guatemala, and how the UN Declaration has impacted Guatemala.

  Rigoberta Menchu replied about the incident, involving the cement company San Juan; she referred to free, prior and informed consent.

 The president of the Sami parliament Aili Keskitalo began by saying the delegates to the WCIP from Russia had been blocked. Inner City Press had heard Vietnam also blocked delegates, and asked. The Sami parliament president said yes, she'd heard a delegate from Asia had been blocked. We'll see.

Back on Friday, September 19 while more than two dozen countries pledged support for Iraq against the Islamic State in the Security Council on September 19, who would speak on UNTV about it?

  For more than an hour the media was told that French foreign minister Laurent Fabius would be “coming to the stakeout” to take questions on UNTV. It was pushed back, then when finally Fabius emerged he rushed past the stakeout into the hallway, where he spoke only in French.
 Update: to be fair, the French Mission put out this transcript.

  So too with Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. When he emerged from the Security Council, he summoned Turkish media down the hallway for a private stakeout. Some non-Turkish journalists weren't allowed to go, something protested by the Free UN Coalition for Access. But why not openly take questions?

  The three on-camera stakeouts that occurred were by Syria's Bashar Ja'afari, Iraq's Foreign Minister Jaafari (no relation, if that needs to be said), and Canada's John Baird. To the last of these, Inner City Press asked if before any bombing in Syria consent should be sought from Damascus or the Council. That has “yet to be determined,” Baird replied.

  Iraqi FM Jaafari, when Inner City Press asked if the Coalition should speak with Syria, seemed to dodge the question. But at least he took questions on camera, as did Syria's Ja'afari. Where were the others? Is this how GA Week will be? FUNCA in is on the case, including about faux UN press conferences like those held in the private club handed out by the UN to its Censorship Alliance. That group tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN, now masquerades on media freedom. This is how the UN works. Watch this site.


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