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Even With UN Minder, ICP Is Harassed, Office Going To Egypt State Media Targeting Others For Arrest

UNfree Press

May 20, 2016 — The UN evicted Inner City Press after it dug into the expanding Ng Lap Seng corruption scandal, but UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told the New York Times (May 14) that “if he has an issue, there is a staff of media liaisons to help him resolve the problem and get where he needs to go.” But this week, even with a minder from the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, a UN Security supervisor told Inner City Press it had no right to stakeout the meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals
This continued even after Inner City Press showed the presence of the minder or escort. Inner City Press urged the UN Security supervisor to look at Dujarric's quote in the New York Times.
“I don't read the New York Times,” the UN Security supervisor said. “I read the UN Times.”
Inner City Press asked the UN Security supervisor for his name, but he refused to give it.

The rationale for ordering Inner City Press out from places it has previously been able to report from is that the UN of Ban and Gallach have taken away Inner City Press' office S-303, for daring to try to cover a meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room on January 29. Now on May 19, Ban and Gallach's UN have put up a new sign on Inner City Press' office door: that of an Egyptian state media which fingers other non-government journalists for arrest.

On May 19, a sign for "Al Akhbar Yom" went up on Inner City Press' office - Inner City Press has STILL never seen the correspondent being given the stolen office. The UN says Resident Correspondents must be at the UN three days a week, but Inner City Press has never seen this person, former UN Correspondents Association president Sanaa Youssef, much less asking a question in the UN noon briefing.
Scribes speaking off the record according to the New York Times of May 14 "accused [ICP] of printing gossip, rumors." That UNCA's president rented an apartment to Palitha Kohona then granted his request to screenin the UN his government's war crimes denial film is no rumor or gossip.

But Akhbar Elyom, to which Gallach's and Ban's MALU and UNCA have given Inner City Press' office, not only gets journalists in Egypt attested - it targets, with a "Muslim Brotherhood" smear, a journalist who works right in the UN. Arabic article here.

This is the journalism that Ban Ki-moon and his Cristina Gallach want and reward. By taking away Inner City Press' office, it is now required to have a minder and is told to not ask diplomats questions. This is censorship.

Akhbar Elyom has been used to finger for imprisonment non-state journalists in Egypt. For example, in July 2015 Aboubakr Khallaf, the founder and head of the independent Electronic Media Syndicate (EMS), “was arrested after a news article was published by the government-owned daily Akhbar Elyoum.” (Article in Arabic here

According to CPJ, Khallaf's EMS “trains and supports journalists who work online in Egypt. The syndicate operates independently from the state-recognized Egyptian Journalists Syndicate...

The local press freedom group Journalists Against Torture and the local Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) said Khallaf was also accused of 'taking pictures and displaying artistic works without a license,' among other allegations. A 1998 executive order states that individuals conducting audio and audiovisual work must have a license from the Ministry of Culture. According to AFTE, the accusation is in connection with Khallaf photographing the funeral of Hisham Barakat, Egypt's prosecutor general who was assassinated late last month."

There are many echoes of this in Ban's UN: as simply one example Ban's Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Gallach telling Inner City Press it takes photographs of things that "are not newsworthy." There are more, and more examples of Akbar Elyom.
Only when it questioned Ban's and its PR official Cristina Gallach's roles in the John Ashe, Ng Lap Seng and Francis Lorenzo UN bribery scandal did Gallach order Inner City Press ousted then evicted, and now try to give its office to an Egyptian media which rarely or never asked questions. Ban Ki-moon claimed “That is not my decision,” but that is not true.

And so this petition remains needed. Inner City Press' office and Resident Correspondent accreditation must be restored. The named officials including Ban Ki-moon and Cristina Gallach must be made to live up to their stated claims about freedom of the press: the shared office and Resident Correspondent pass must be restored, 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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