Petition update

UN Falsely Told Its Rapporteurs "Altercation" Justified Press Eviction, Letters & Video Here

UNfree Press

Jun 17, 2016 — It has emerged that the UN's eviction of Inner City Press from its long time shared office, to restrict it with Ban Ki-moon's minders and BAN it from covering briefings on Western Sahara and even Security Council meetings, has been based on a serious of mis-statements, seemingly intentional.

On June 16 Inner City Press was belatedly provided with copies of UN Special Rapporteurs David Kaye's and Michel's Forst's February 25 letter to the UN's Cristina Gallach about Inner City Press' eviction.
While Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric refused to answer on this on June 16, video here Inner City Press has now published both the Special Rapporteurs' questions, and Gallach's belated response two months later on May 25, after the UN evicted Inner City Press' files onto First Avenue and moved to give the office to Egytian state media Akhbar Elyom, which has NOT come to the UN three days a week as ostensibly required, and which asks no questions.

“The privilege of the use of such office space was withdrawn after an incident in which Mr Lee trespassed in a closed meeting of the United Nations Correspondence [sic] Association. The disturbance and altercation that his behavior caused required the presence of United Nations Safety and Security Officers to defuse. Thus, as was made clear in my letter of 19 February 2016 to Mr. Lee his behavior did not comport with the express requirements of the United Nations Media Accreditation Guidelines, which are applicable to all journalists to the United Nations. These circumstances, consequently, occasioned the withdrawal of Mr. Lee's resident correspondent accreditation.”

This paragraph is full of lies. There was no altercation - the only physical contact was Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric stabbing at Inner City Press' cell phone to try to turn off the Periscope live stream. Video here:

It was Inner City Press which asked for a UN Security guard to come, to rule if it was a closed meeting or not. The UN has separately told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that it has no written record that it was a closed meeting -- so how did Inner City Press “trespass,” as Gallach alleges and misstates to the Special Rapporteurs?

Gallach has allowed Giampaolo Pioli, the president of the UN Correspondents Association, the name of which she misspells, to come to the UN Security Council stakeout and loudly call Inner City Press “an assh*ole.” So what about those civility rules? This is a pure pretext and retaliation; Gallach should have been recused, after being questioned by Inner City Press in October 2015 about her role in Ng Lap Seng's South South Awards with Francis Lorenzo. Video here:

Gallach doesn't even purport to answer the Special Rapporteurs' questions about the lack of due process. The Handbook she cited to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is not available online. So she makes up an “altercation,” which is a lie. This retaliatory eviction must be reversed, and the Press' long time office restored, along with minder-less Resident Correspondent accreditation, immediately. Here are contacts: Ban's chief of staff Edmond Mulet: 212-963-8922;; Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson: 212-963-8010. Thanks for any and all assistance.


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