UN Security Ejecting ICP Wouldn't Give Name, Grabbed ID Badge, Pushed Out Gate
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, February 21 -- The UN on February 19, after Inner City Press asked about UN inaction in South Sudan and Burundi and financial irregularities, was handed a letter to leave the UN by 5 pm. Letter here: http://www.innercitypress.com/UN1ejectsICP021916.JPG
While Inner City Press was writing up a UN Security Council meeting on Syria that went into the evening, and Periscope broadcasting, UN Security guards walked up. They told Inner City Press it could not transcribe and report on answers to its (final?) questions at the Security Council stakeout.
Inner City Press asked the Security officer making this order to provide his name, but he refused. Audio here.
Inner City Press asked how this could be UN protocol, since police department in many jurisdiction require officers to give their names, and have names on their badges or shields.
The officer -- who would late shove Inner City Press out into First Avenue without coat or files -- said, "You are acting in a very..."
A very what? Uppity manner, asking for the name of a security supervisor ordering a journalist to leave (and ultimately grabbing the journalist's laptop?)
Finally the name was provided: Deputy Security Chief Michael McNulty. Previously bragging of serving Ban Ki-moon in Iraq. We'll have more on this.
Then UN Security grabbed Inner City Press' laptop, blocked its Periscope camera and turned off the livestream. Video here: https://youtu.be/OOdok2rxrqk
Then eight UN Security officers led by Deputy Chief McNulty tore off Inner City Press' UN ID badge and carted off Inner City Press' laptop and camera, returning these by throwing them on the sidewalk of First Avenue. Audio here: https://soundcloud.com/innercitypress/un-security-deputy-mcnulty-orders-press-to-leave-unsc-stakeout-or-hell-use-nypd-un-censorship
They did not allow Inner City Press to get coat or sweater, or the files in its office. No provision was made for this.
The ejection letter was signed by the Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Galach of Spain but ultimately Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in charge. Ban and his chief of staff Edmond Mulet and Deputy SG Jan Eliasson were all written to with details as this took place.
USG Gallach's office, Darrin Farrant in charge, merely "took note" of questions about and criticism of the lack of due process. Gallach did not respond to email, even from Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta, here.
When Inner City Press was thrown out onto First Avenue, standing waiting, laughing and filming, was Voice of America's Margaret Besheer and another board member of the UN Correspondents Association, whose president Giampaoli Pioli told Inner City Press if it didn't remove a (truthful) article about his screening of a war crimes denial film for a tenant of his, Sri Lanka's then ambassador Palitha Kohona, he would get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN.
But who is running this asylum? Ban Ki-moon, his spokesman also involved Stephane Dujarric (who threw Inner City Press out of the UN Press Briefing Room on January 29, also trying to turn off ICP's Periscoping phone), and, some surmise, some who don't like Inner City Press' questions. We'll have more on this.
The pretext was Inner City Press three weeks earlier seeking to cover a meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room by an organization which has taken money from now indicted Ng Lap Seng and Frank Lorenzo's South SOuth News, then gave Ng Lap Seng a photo op with Ban.
(As Inner City Press reported, Gallach attended the South South Awards with Frank Lorenzo, photo here, just before his indictment. She should have been recused from any decision-making on this.)
UN Security demanded ICP's pass - and later tore it off.
- michael mcnulty, united nations, un security, censorship, cristina gallach, ban ki-moon, inner city press