As UN Targets Inner City Press for Retaliation, New Letter to SG Guterres, DSG, CoS and Smale
Jun 26, 2018 — On June 22, with Inner City Press *still* restricted for reporting on first UN bribery case even as it breaks news on second Patrick Ho / Kutesa case, Cameroon and other issues, UN Security Lieutenant Dobbins ordered Inner City Press out of the UN during an event with a speech by SG Guterres. So on June 25, after the UN Spokesman refused to answer, Inner City Press sent this to Guterres, his Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed, his chief of staff and head of Global Communications Alison Smale: Dear UNSG Guterres and senior UN officials --
This is a formal request for your action, against the targeting of Inner City Press by UN Security as occurred on June 22 and for the restoration of Inner City Press to its long time work space S-303 and promulgation of rules to avoid no-due process targeting of any media in the UN.
On June 22 while I covered the Eid al Fitr event with SG speech and presence of Deputy SG and chief of staff I was ordered to leave the UN by UN Security Lieutenant Dobbins. Video here. I told him I had a right to cover the event and to stay at least one hour past, but he refused to await word from DPI and even refused to let me get my laptop. I was left without the ability to report for two days, even as the Fifth Committee met about reforms like the Global Service Delivery Mechanism, which Inner City Press has closely covered. This is censorship.
Today, before sending this to you, I tried to ask the UN Spokesperson what the rules are, on what basis I was targeted and ousted, and how I could cover the Budget Committee proceedings involving billions of public dollars. I was told, “Your concerns with them need to be addressed to UN Security. I'm not going to comment on your own problems with UN Security. Brenden, come on up.” UN transcript here. This is unacceptable.
For the record, I assert that Lieutenant Dobbins had a personal interest or animus in targeting me, as I have in the past reported based on DSS sources on questionable pre-decided promotions in the Department, including of Dobbins to ERU. Document exclusively published by Inner City Press here.
I have written to you repeatedly, without answer, even from DPI's Alison Smale. Leaving Inner City Press in this limbo has allowed and encouraged targeting such as occurred on June 22. For your information as I covered the UNRWA pledging conference earlier today, I could only do so with a DPI minder and a roped off cage, while other reporters walked around freely.
This is particularly outrageous given that Inner City Press alone in the UN press corps has been covering not only the killings in Cameroon and the UN's seeming inaction (and irregularities in even how the UNSC's website is run) but also the second UN bribery prosecution, of Patrick Ho whose China Energy Fund Committee is *still* in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC and regarding which your Secretariat has not even begun any audit.
CEFC is linked not only with previous PGA Kutesa and Ashe, but also Vuk Jeremic. And what else? An audit is needed - not the targeting and ouster and continued restrictions on Inner City Press.
Inner City Press' long time work space is STILL sitting unused. It was assigned by DPI to an Egyptian state media which rarely comes in - not for weeks now - and never asks questions, Akhbar al Yom. This is outrageous and must be reversed.
Finally, for now, it is disappointed that the long delayed June 26 press conference has been canceled with no new date, but that UNCA is bragging of SG remarks and claiming that it is open to all correspondents. While I quit UNCA, after they accepted funding from the convictee in the first UN bribery case, Ng Lap Seng and his South South News, I rsvp-ed on June 21 to cover the SG remarks on the North Lawn on Jun 26, as the Free UN Coalition for Access (FUNCA) - and they have not responded. Nor did the Deputy Spokesman answer my question on this at the June 25 noon briefing, nor is it in the UN's June 26 UN Media Alert. This is all unacceptable.
I am requesting an answer on these issues, and to be restored to Inner City Press' long time work space S-303, and Resident Correspondent status to avoid the type of targeting that occurred on June 22, immediately.
Please confirm receipt, respond and take action. Thank you.
Matthew Russell Lee, Esq., Inner City Press
Past (and future?) Office at UN: Room S-303, UN HQ, NY NY 10017
Cell: 718-716-3540 [& http://www.funca.info/]
Email Matthew.Lee [at] innercitypress.com and this
June 7, 2018, in Serbia, quoting Inner City Press: http://pink.rs/politika/74784/novinar-ujedinjenih-nacija-za-pink-rs-o-korupcionaskom-skandalu-ocekujem-da-ce-se-i-vuk-jeremic-naci-pod-istragom-americkih-vlasti
June 5, 2018, in French, quoting Inner City Press' question on Cameroon https://www.afrikmag.com/le-regime-biya-recoit-un-ultimatum-de-lambassadrice-americaine/
May 28, 2018, in Czech Republic, citing Inner City Press: https://sinopsis.cz/peking-jako-spolecny-jmenovatel-serie-korupcnich-afer-v-osn/
May 28, 2018, in Serbia, citing Inner City Press: http://informer.rs/vesti/svet/382937/patrik-ho
May 4, 2018, Fox News quoting ICP, “UN received 54 allegations of sexual misconduct in 3 months,” by Frank Miles http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/05/01/un-received-54-allegations-sexual-misconduct-in-3-months.html
May 4, 2018, Radio Gagana, “A UNHRC inquiry into the alleged involvement of the accused Sri Lankan peacekeepers,” quoted ICP's questions, in Tamil http://www.radiogagana.com/2018/05/05/sri-lanka-peacekeepers-under-un-scrutiny/
April 12, 2018: ICP's exclusive on UNSOS credited in Somalia: https://www.jamhuuriyada.net/2018/04/12/xafiika-qaramada-midoobay-ee-somalia-oo-musuq-maasuqay-51-3-milyan/
March 7, 2018, on Sri Lanka, answer to Inner City Press: “UN urges Sri Lanka to resolve issues pertaining to unrest through dialogue,” India Blooms https://indiablooms.com/world-details/SA/14773/un-urges-sri-lanka-to-resolve-issues-pertaining-to-unrest-through-dialogue.html
February 23, 2018, crediting Inner City Press' exclusive on UN transfer of hard currency to North Korea, “UN authorizes €4 million payment to North Korean bank for aid operations,” NK News, https://www.nknews.org/pro/un-authorizes-e4-million-payment-to-north-korean-bank-for-aid-operations/
February 21, 2018, Sri Lanka, citing Inner City Press' Patreon: http://www.tamilguardian.com/content/un-suspends-deployment-sri-lankan-peacekeeper-over-human-rights-concerns
February 1, 2018 “UN: 'Procedures followed’ for Al Bashir – Guterres meeting at Addis summit' [citing Inner City Press' questions] http://allafrica.com/stories/201802020290.html
Jan 12, 2018, HlidacipPes.org, Czech Republic: “Global corruption scandal. The CEFC scrap, which the Czech Republic does not notice much, though it should” [citing Inner City Press' UN corruption coverage] https://hlidacipes.org/cestny-zemanuv-poradce-globalni-korupcni-skandal-skraloup-cefc-ktereho-si-cesko-moc-nevsima/
Guanghua Daily, Jan 9, 2018 Ho Arrested Monday in Manhattan federal court arraignment, Dr Patrick Ho denies eight charges [Inner City Press asks Guterres why no audit] http://www.kwongwah.com.my/?p=453359
The Standard (Kenya), Jan 25, 2018: UN sent Obasanjo to mediate between Uhuru and Raila,
The Star (Kenya), Jan 24, 2018: Revoke Uhuru's appointment as global youth champion, ODM tells UNICEF https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2018/01/24/revoke-uhurus-appointment-as-global-youth-champion-odm-tells-unicef_c1702977
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