UN Bans ICP from Premises, Even As Guest, Can't Cover UNSC or Briefing
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, February 22 -- After Inner City Press was summarily ejected from the UN, which it has covered for ten years, on February 19, the ostensibly deciding official Cristina Gallach told no less than Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta that Inner City Press would still be able to cover the UN, under a reduced access.
But when Inner City Press came to the UN on Monday morning, with another journalist there to sign Inner City Press in as a guest, UN Security said, “You are Banned from the UN.” Inner City Press called Gallach - in a meeting, left message - and Ban Ki-moon's Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who'd also told those who questioned him that Inner City Press could end and cover “his” briefing on Monday.
False. UN Security then said, you cannot wait in the pass office, you are banned from all UN premises. Trying to cover the UN Security Council meeting on Syria from the Isaiah plowshares park across from the UN, various Ambassadors came to say they were appalled. But Gallach's office has told then, nothing will be done.
This is disgusting censorship by an increasingly corrupt UN.
As Inner City Press at the UN pursues unfolding stories of corruption, peacekeepers committing rapes in the Central African Republic, UN inaction in Burundi, South Sudan and Yemen, on February 19 with two hours notice UN Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach ordered Inner City Press to be ousted. Letter here.
On the evening of February 19, UN Security Deputy Chief Michael McNulty, who refused to provide his name (audio), pushed Inner City Press out onto First Avenue (audio), having cut off its Periscope video livestream (video) and not allowed it to get its files, coat or passport from its longtime shared office. Gallach wants the office back, to retaliate and so the UN Correspondents Association can, in essence, sell the UN space just as it sells access to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
On February 20, Inner City Press posed four questions to Dujarric and his deputy Farhan Haq, with a copy to Gallach --which 24 hours later have not been answered or even acknowledged (while both Dujarric and Gallach were wildly spinning to those who contacted them, including Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos Horta, see here, who was told there was no problem taking over Inner City Press' office and undermining its ability to report, edit videos, conduct interviews. There is a big problem. Here are the questions:
"Please state the status and condition of all of my papers and property in my office, Room S-303A, including investigative papers, communications from sources including whistleblowers and my passport and when I will have the access to them that I was denied on February 19 and since.
Please state when the Resident Correspondent UN pass I have had for years, but which was torn off my neck on Feb 19, will be returned, in connection with 1, above, and the UNSC meeting(s) and UN Noon Briefing on Monday February 22.
Please state and explain the role of the Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary General in the deprivations in 1 and 2, above.
Finally, for now, please state the Secretary-General's position on UN Security Deputy McNulty on February 19 threatening twice to have me “handed over to NYPD” (including the concomitant acceptance by the UN of the NYPD's jurisdiction), of UN Security officers grabbing my phone which was live-broadcasting Periscope video at the UN Security Council stakeout and turning it off.
I have other questions but these are most pressing, for immediate answer."
And as yet, 34 hours later, no answer. Watch this site.
- united nations, cristina gallach, stephane dujarric, ban ki-moon, censorship