united nations

united nations

On WPFD, ICP Asks Ban Ki-moon's Spox Why No Action on FOIA, Why Told Can't Asks Qs of Diplomats

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As UN Tells Press It Can't Ask Questions, Anything But Torture OK With Ban By Matthew Russell Lee UNITED NATIONS, May 2 -- When Inner City Press on February 19 was told to leave the UN on two hours notice, after covering the organization for ten years, it came as a surprise. So did the UN's eviction, here: https://youtu.be/VDOHW1zruiE But now we know some of what happened behind the scenes, see below. And on May 2, when Inner City Press with its reduced accreditation had to ask the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit to swipe it through the turnstile to access the second floor and stake out the meetings on UN Security Council reform and ECOSOC's “Integration Segment” with Ban Ki-moon as a speaker, the MALU staffer told UN Security, he has to stay there. "There" was an area by the couches across from the entrance to the ECOSOC and Trusteeship Council Chambers. Even under these constraints, and with UN Security three times intervening to demand to know why Inner City Press was there -- while other UNCA correspondents strolled by on the way to the Delegates' Lounge with each other -- Inner City Press managed to speak with sources about the upcoming Security Council trip, meeting with Morocco about Western Sahara, and Security Council reform. Then came a more Kafka-esque request. “They need to come to you,” Inner City Press was told, referring to the diplomats it had been speaking with. Inner City Press, under this regime of Ban Ki-moon and Cristina Gallach, is not to initiate contact much less ask a question. This is targeting. Down the hall, other journalists attempted to approach Security Council diplomats; one UNCA big wig recently bear-hugged a Latin American Permanent Representative who turned around and demanded, Who are you? But under the Ban and Gallach regime, the day before World Press Freedom Day, Inner City Press was told not to approach anyone with a question. And so on World Press Freedom Day May 3, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who implied that anything short of torture is okay, video here On May 2 as Ban and his entourage came out of ECOSOC for a 10:40 am meeting with May's Security Council president, Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, suddenly a UN Security guard approached Inner City Press and demanded, “Are you supposed to be here with your pass?” Inner City Press pointed at the MALU minder, but the UN Security guard didn't move. His role, it emerged, was to block or “box out” Inner City Press while Ban Ki-moon walked by. Why? So that no question could be asked? Inner City Press has covered the UN for ten years. But now in the final year of Ban Ki-moon, which his new censor in chief Cristina Gallach (named in the UN bribery case audit), there is open targeting of the Press, right in front of Ban Ki-moon. We'll have more on this. The incident used as a pretext in the ouster letter signed by Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach, Inner City Press' attempt to cover a January 29 event in the UN Press Briefing Room which was nowhere listed as closed, was the type of principled disagreement about journalistic rights that led Inner City Press to refuse an order to leave a briefing by French President Francois Hollande ostensibly only for the traveling French press. Inner City Press wasn't thrown out then. But something had and has changed. While Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, when asked about the ouster, said “That is not my decision,” those close to him say that this crackdown on the Press was discussed at a meeting of Ban's senior leadership team.