UN Just Ordered ICP to Leave at 8 PM, As It Edited Video of False Noon Briefing Answers
Mar 11, 2016 — Thursday evening: While UN spokespeople Dujarric and Haq, and USG Cristina Gallach falsely say Inner City Press has “total access” at the UN, not only was ICP's coverage of meetings on Security Council reform and with Sri Lanka's Supreme Court justice banned - on March 10, UN Security ordered ICP out of the building at 8 pm, audio here: https://soundcloud.com/innercitypress/un-security-orders-icp-out-of-un-at-8-pm-as-it-edits-video-of-noon-briefing-march-10-2016
UN Under Secretary General Gallach, even having been informed that Inner City Press can no longer for example go to the second floor of the UN Conference Building and speak with diplomats entering and exiting meetings like March 9 on UN Security Council reform, and March 10 on Counter-Terrorism including in Sri Lanka, repeats the same position to others - as does Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Office of the Spokesperson, under Stepane Dujarric.
But Inner City Press had been told that while the pass would not allow it to enter the UN after 7 pm, if it was already inside working, it could finish.
On March 10 at 8 pm, as Inner City Press sat in the UN Lobby cafe area editing a video of the day's noon briefing, see below, UN Security officers approached and told it to leave. Immediately.
Inner City Press asked if this rule applied to all non-resident correspondents, many of whom stayed much later than 8 pm, or only to it.
"I"m just doing what I'm told," UN DSS Officer Clyde said, telling Inner City Press to take it up with his supervisor Chief (Michael or Mick) Brown.
This is harassment; it flows from the February 19 no due process order of Under Secretary General of DPI Cristina Gallach but has been enabled by inaction by the highest UN officials and some diplomats.
The March 10 session on Counter-Terrorism, including Sri Lanka Supreme Court Justice Chandra Ekanayake, was held in the ECOSOC Chamber - Inner City Press was not able to stake it out and talk to diplomats, as it had before.
On March 10, Inner City Press asked Dujarric, Vine here, UN transcipt here:
Inner City Press: yesterday, your deputy, Farhan Haq, I want to ask you this because it really constrained me. There was a meeting in Trusteeship on UN Security Council reform. It was a closed meeting, but it's the kind of meeting that a journalist can stand outside and stake out and get quotes. I'm no longer able to do that. I cannot go through that glass turnstile. He said from this podium that I have the same rights as everyone else. It wasn't true. And I wasn't able to cover the meeting. And I wanted to know, one, do you retract… does your office retract this claim that I have the same rights as anyone else? And two, what's the justification for there being two classes of journalists here, those who can cover such meetings and those who can't?
Spokesman Dujarric: I think there's always been resident correspondents who have an office and non-resident correspondents. That's the pass you have. And that's the access you have.
Inner City Press: But, it's not about having an office. It's about being able to cover a meeting… [Cross talk]
Spokesman: Matthew, that's the access you have, and I think…
Inner City Press: Then why does Ms. [Cristina] Gallach claim that I have total access if I don't?
Spokesman: Matthew, inasmuch as we can continue this discussion about you and your accreditation process, it should be had with DPI [Department of Public Information]. Thank you.
Inner City Press: It's the ability to cover and claims made from this podium, which were false. False claims.
Spokesman: Thank you.
In fact, it was Dujarric who used the UN Press Briefing Room he threw Inner City Press out of to "discuss" Inner City Press' accreditation on February 22 - only, with a board member of UNCA, the UN Corruption Association / UN Censorship Alliance.
Cristina Gallach has written, "Mr Lee has a Press accreditation that allows him to cover all events in the UN, as the rest of accredited journalists." She even referred to "total access."
This is false.
For example, today's General Assembly meeting on Security Council reform is "closed." But those with Resident Correspondent accreditation, which Gallach stripped from Inner City Press without any due process and only two hours notice on February 19, can use their pass to swipe through the turnstile on the second floor and stakeout outside the meeting, speaking with diplomats.
Inner City Press cannot - its new restricted pass does not open the second floor turnstile. It has been Banned from this type of coverage.
It was precisely by staking out outside "Closed" meetings that Inner City Press got and covered such stories as Sri Lankan alleged war criminal Shavendra Silva being one of Ban Ki-moon's Senior Advisers on Peacekeeping. Staking out closed meetings of the Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping, Inner City Press quoted even South Asian ambassadors on what an outrage it was.
Now Inner City Press is Banned from such coverage, and the UN Department of Public "Information" is misleading those who contact it.
Sadly, your help is more needed that ever - please promote this and let people know, for the sake of freedom of the press, at the UN and beyond.