Wednesday, April 18, 2018

UN Briber Patrick Ho of CEFC Asserts "Blame HSBC" Defense, Could Have Wired Other Ways


By Matthew Russell Lee, VideoQ&A, HK here
UNITED NATIONS, April 17 – Four months after the arrest for UN bribery of Patrick Ho, the head of China Energy Fund Committee full funded by CEFC China Energy, his ultimate boss at CEFC Ye Jianming was brought in for questioning in China. Now Patrick Ho is trying to get portions of his indictment dismissed, blaming that fact that the payments to UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa and Chadian President Deby went through New York only because the bank HSBC decided, not by Ho's choice. Call it the "blame HSBC" defense - and we note that HSBC has been embroiled in scandals of money laundering for Mexican drug cartels and for the Guptas in South Africa, as well as tax evasion worldwide. There truly is no honor among thieves, including the UN. We'll have more on this. Management and day to day operations of CEFC have reportedly been taken over by the Shanghai city government's investment arm, Shanghai Guosheng Group Company. At the UN, Inner City Press asked if this meant that its fundee could not longer be in special consultative status to UN ECOSOC; this has not been answered. Inner City Press made this connection: the president of ECOSOC is Marie Chatardová, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the UN. Her president, in Prague Castle, is Miloš Zeman -- who, like Uganda's Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa when he was UN President of the General Assembly, made Ye Jianming an official adviser. (Inner City Press' CEFC investigative covered has been picked up in the Czech media, for example here.) Now on April 17, Zeman is set to meet this week with another Chinese state owned firm, CITIC and its chairmanChang Zhenming. CITIC is reportedly seeking to buy a stake in CEFC's Czech-based unit CEFC Europe. So Inner City Press asks, would CITIC buy its way into China Energy Fund Group's consultative status with ECOSOC, presided over by the Czech Republic? The Czech Mission to the UN, and ECOSOC's supposed spokesperson Paul Simon, have yet to answer any of Inner City Press' written questions. This is today's UN, under Antonio Guterres. 
Earlier, Zeman sent two officials to Chinese to inquire into the status or, or help, Ye Jianming: chancellor Vratislav Mynár and economic advisor Martin Nejedlý flew to Shanghai on March 13, along with CEFC  European division head Jaroslav Tvrdik, and have now returned. They said Ye “is being investigated for a suspicion of breaking the law,” after meeting CEFC President Chan Chauto. CEFC’s Czech-based unit CEFC Europe said: “CEFC Europe has been informed about the planned change in the shareholder structure in which Mr Ye Jienming will no longer be active as a shareholder nor in the company’s leadership. NOW might Zeman's Representative Chatardová belatedly take action in the UN ECOSOC of which she is President?  
 Inner City Press has repeatedly written to the Czech Mission to the UN, to the attention of 
Marie Chatardová as President of ECOSOC, asking how China Energy Fund Committee given all of the above can remain in special consultative status with ECOSOC. The Czech Mission has not answered, including when the question is raised at the UN's televised noon briefing, as Inner City Press asked again on March 19, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed is going to the Czech Republic about ECOSOC [Economic and Social Council].  So, I was going to and may still ask Brenden [Varma] this, but I wanted to ask you this.  It has arisen that the China Energy Fund Committee, the ultimate owner in Shanghai has purportedly been brought in for questioning, and it turns out he was not only an adviser to Sam Kutesa as PGA [President of the General Assembly], but also an adviser of the Czech Republic President.  The Czech Republic has sent people to sort of look into his situation, but the Czech Republic also has the presidency of ECOSOC.  So, noting that I haven't gotten any answer from the Czech Mission, my question is…

Spokesman:  I think those are questions that you should address to the Presidency of ECOSOC.

Inner City Press: I guess but my question is an overall UN question.  Is there… is there any… it seems like it might be a conflict of interest if your President has a business relationship with an NGO to be in charge of the committee that is either… how do we get an answer if…?

Spokesman:  That is a question for the… that’s a question for Member States.  Member States elect the Presidency of ECOSOC.  They elect the bureau.  Those are Member State questions.  I struggle to answer the questions directed to the Secretary-General.  I think Member States need to answer other questions."  But again, the Czech Mission has not answered repeated written questions. 
For example:

"Hello - this concerned ECOSOC, reiterating Inner City Press' question from November 28: yesterday in US Federal Court, China Energy Fund Committee was described as a front for bribes paid to former PGA Kutesa and others.

See, e.g.,  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]

The US has executed search warrants on this NGO's offices. But it is still saying it is in "special consultative status" with ECOSOC.

What action has been taken by ECOSOC and/or its NGO Committee? How is the months-long inaction consistent with the principles of the UN and ECOSOC?

I asked again yesterday at the UN noon briefing, but am told the Secretariat has or will take no role. So I am asking you again. Please confirm receipt. Thank you in advance."

  The Czech Mission, like Antonio Guterres' Secretariat's spokesperson for ECOSOC, has refused to answer. As to the Czech Republic, the reason for inaction and stonewalling of the Press may now be clear - alongside Antonio Guterres' Secretariat. We'll have more on this.

On Cameroon, Inner City Press Asks UN Mueller Why UN Fails on Anglophones, RC Cited


By Matthew Russell Lee, Video1st Personthis

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- The deference of the UN system's and many of its member states to Cameroon's corrupt 36-year president Paul Biya, and their complicity in his recent crackdown, continues. This extends to media like Voice of America and the BBC, among others.  On April 17 Inner City Press got the change to asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' humanitarian Assistant SG Ursula Mueller why, when she visited Cameroon, she did not address or venture to the Anglophone areas where Biya's troops have been burning down whole villages. Video here. Mueller replied that "I followed the advice of my program of my local partners and focused only on the Far North." Who are these local partners? Then she claimed that the UN Resident Coordinator is designing a response to the Anglophone regions. What, the burning down of villages? Today's UN is failing, and continues to restrict the Press that asks about these failures. We'll have more on this. Just as the UN through its envoy Francois Lounceny Fall has tried to equate separatists with extremists, so too the Biya government now says it won't have any discussions with "secessionists" in the Anglophone areas. So Inner City Press on April 16 asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: about Cameroon.  It has to do with the Interior Minister of Cameroon, Mr.… has said there will be absolutely no dialogue with “secessionists”.  Whether or not violent or nonviolent, if you do not pledge allegiance to… to the full territorial integrity of Cameroon, no dialogue.  Given that Mr. François Fall has been saying for the longest that he's committing to dialogue, that's what the Government should do, what does he think of this statement that, in 30 days, it will be a final crackdown?

Spokesman:  Our position continues to be the same, is that the best way to address the situation in the Anglophone regions is through a genuine and inclusive dialogue with all relevant stakeholders." This while Antonio Guterres took Biya's golden statue, and has remained silent - a new low for the UN. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

At UN, US Cttee for Human Rights in N Korea Gets Status CEFC Has, S Africa Votes No, Sudan Abstains


By Matthew Russell Lee, Video , Periscope outside event
UNITED NATIONS, April 17 – In the UN Economic and Social Council on April 17, the application for special consultative status by the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea was approved, 29 yes, 6 no, 13 abstentions. There were a few surprises: Sudan wasn't one of the six No's, instead abstaining. And South Africa WAS one of the 6 No's. Still, nothing from ECOSOC about the China Energy Fund Committee, whose Patrick Ho has been charged with bribing then President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa - this while ECOSOC is presided over by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, whose president still has CEFC China Energy's Ye Jianming as an adviser (Inner City Press story here). One side of the controversy surrounding the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organization was presented on March 16 in the clubhouse the UN gives to the UN Correspondents Association, also known as the UN Censorship Alliance, complete with CPJ, UN official Andrew Gilmore and Human Rights Watch, which earlier this month told Inner City Press it does not view the crackdown in Cameroon as top-90 human rights issue and therefore left the country, along with Togo and Gabon, out of the 2018 "World" Report. 
The side not be presented is the NGO Committee admitting, and retaining, groups like the China Energy Fund Committee, even after its chief if indicted for UN bribery of former President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, even after its 100% funding, the oil company CEFC China Energy, is taking over by the government. Instead, the NGO Committee was - rightly in some cases - by portrayed as too stringent. UN official Andrew Gilmour, who seemed to think this private event was a "UN event" but graceously provided Inner City Press a copy of his remarks. (We've put them on Scribd, here, and on Patreon heredirect, to make sure they stay available.)  He said, "The Secretary-General and the High Commissioner have often spoken about the need for a vibrant civil society freed from unnecessary constraints. Yes, the UN is an intergovernmental body, of course, but “we the peoples” – the first three words of the
UN Charter – was not just a rhetorical flourish, or a joke." But the UN, including through its UN Censorship Alliance as well bigger pictures in its impunity for killing with cholera in Haiti, has become a joke. Gilmore spoke and left before the end. 
A video was shown, speeched by China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran, contrasted with Estonia, Mexico and the US (which, Inner City Press has noted, repeatedly blocked a Sudanese NGO asserts it was connected with Osama Bin Laden but using the same technical tricks decried on March 16.) Periscope video here, around Minute 20. This all took place the private club of a group which urges the eviction of investigative press (and accepted funds from one of the NGOs of convicted UN bribery Ng Lap Seng, South South News, and then arranged for Ng to get a photo with the Secretary General). It was for pursuing that story that Inner City Press sought to cover an UNCA event in the UN Press Briefing Room, and was for that evicted from its work space, and two years and counting of restrictions. CJP did nothing - they use UNCA to "launch" their reports - just as CPJ has yet to opine on the UN's admission this week to Inner City Press that it investigates whistleblowers who leak to the investigative Press. HRW's UN lobbying urged the UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric to oust Inner City Press, here, and then falsely told Google the leaked complaint to the UN should be removed from Search as copyrighted. The result? Inner City Press WAS evicted, and its work space assigned to Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom. Here's from the UN Censorship Alliance's notice: "details on the upcoming election and slate of candidates. The speakers include: Andrew Gilmour, Assistant UN Secretary-General for Human Rights, Louis Charbonneau, Human Rights Watch, Robert Mahoney, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)." It was Mahoney, when the UN's physical eviction of Inner City Press for pursuing the Ng Lap Seng bribery story was presented to CPJ who said he had looked into it - an "investigation" seemingly limited to conferring with his friend Charbonneau. Corporate media freedom - it's all among friends. Ironically, afterward the UN Censorship Alliance will put behind closed doors "Kazuko Ito, Founder of Human Rights Now, will be in New York City to join the CSW 62 along with Ms. Shiori Ito, a journalist who broke Japan’s silence about rape victims for the first time through her experience. They will brief" ... the UN Censorship Alliance. We'll have more on this. The crackdown in Cameroon by 36-year government of Paul Biya was raised in the March 6 press conference at the UN on children and armed conflict, by Inner City Press. The panelist from Human Rights Watch, which omitted Cameroon, Gabon and Togo and some others from its 2018 "World" report and then refused to explain it, was Jo Becker, so Inner City Press asked about the omission from HRW's report
She said that HRW has to decide where to spend the resources it receives, and apparently didn't see Cameroon as among the 90 countries meriting a look in their "World" report, nor Gabon or Togo. Video here.

To make sure the question was not misunderstood, given the answer, Inner City Press waited as others from who had skipped the press conference came in to ask questions, then showed Ms. Becker the report. She said she had understood the question. (She did not explain why "Ashley" who answered for HRW Press never returned with this answer, nor put Inner City Press back on HRW's mailing lists). So who makes these decisions for Human Rights Watch? 
HRW has refused to provide any read-outs of the issues it raises to Guterres. Guterres is himself far from transparent. On February 28 his close protection ordered Inner City Press to stop recording, in a photo op session in which Guterres conveyed his "very very warm regards" to Egypt's Sisi. Guterres' Secretariat has assigned Inner City Press' long time UN work space to a no-show Sisi state media, Akhbar al Yom. (HRW's UN lobbying previous lobbied Guterres' spokesman to throw Inner City Press out of the UN, then got his leaked complaint to the UN removed from Google Search by mis-characterizing it as copyrighted). So what will happen and be discussed at 3:330? Watch this site. When Inner City Press was sent the link to the 660-page 2018 report by Human Rights Watch, it turned to the Table of Contents to read the section on Cameroon, which it covers even as the UN, for now to the highest levels, covers up. But Cameroon was not there, between Cambodia and Canada. Tweeted photo here. Nor under its French spelling, Cameroun. Nor the word Anglophone, much less Ambazonia. Nor 36-year ruler Paul Biya. Nor were Togo or Gabon mentioned, photo here. Online HRW report, perhaps to be changed, here. Inner City Press on the morning of January 22 asked HRW's press operation the following: "Hello. Searching today the HRW 2018 Report for Cameroon (as well as Togo and Gabon, for example), not finding them in the Table of Contents (photo attached), nor word-search. (Seems the two references to Cameroon, despite the crackdown there, are both in the Nigeria section). Can you please explain, on deadline? Also, for future reference, can you please restore Inner City Press, at this email address, to HRW's press email list and explain the previous deletion? Finally, does HRW/Ken Roth intend to meet with UNSG Guterres in the first half of 2018? What issues would HRW raise? What issues did HRW raise in March 2017, and why did it decline to state any of them at the time?" The reply, not a real response, was from an Ashley without a last name, promising a response from "researchers" which, a day later, has not come: "Hi Matthew, Thank you for your email. I’ve sent your request to our researchers and will keep you posted. Best, Ashley." Later on January 22, Inner City Press wrote again to hrwpress [at] hrw.org, "Hello - this morning on the simple question why Cameroon, Togo and Gabon are not in the Table of Contents of HRW's 2018 Report, the reply was 'I’ve sent your request to our researchers and will keep you posted.' What is the answer? Please advise." And... nothing. In March 2017 after Ken Roth and three of his Human Rights Watch UN lobbyists went to the UN for a meeting on the 38th floor, Inner City Press asked Roth and his lobbyists, including two former UN correspondents Louis Charbonneau and Philippe Bolopion, for a summary of what HRW had raised. There was no answer at all. Video here. It was a typical UN scene: a group promoting principles outside of the UN not pursuing them inside the UN, in order to maintain access and perceived influence. Now having asked online what it is missing, the absence not only of Togo but also Gabon has been noted. We'll have more on this.

  Human Rights Watch speechifies about accountability but has said much less about the UN killing 10,000 Haitians with cholera, or about the lack of prosecutions for peacekeepers' sexual abuse. The UN talks about the rule of law but does not abide by it.

UN Data-Dumps Its Contractor's Child Rape Case in South Sudan, ICP Asked of Date, UN Dissembled


By Matthew Russell Lee, Video
UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- Six UN cases of sexual exploitation by peacekeepers were disclosed on the UN's website at 5 pm on Friday 13 April, in what can only be described as a dirty data dump. One involves alleged child rape by a UN civilian contractor in South Sudan, four involve Nigerian soldiers in Liberia, and one a soldier from Nigeria in the Central African Republic. This last is dated April 20, which hasn't yet arrived. The data, and the UN, is dirty in at last two ways. As this batch was being released, UNSG Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric left whistling; he does not answer Inner City Press' written or even some in-person questions. (This may be his boss' orders, see Guterres' non-answer on April 13, here.) On April 16, Inner City Press asked Dujarric in person, as it had on April 14 in writing without response, about the discrepancies. He at first dodged, then dissembled. From the UN Transcript: Inner City Press: I'd wanted to ask you, it seems like, on Friday, at just after 5 p.m. the UN disclosed a new set of sexual exploitation and abuse cases.  So, I'd… I'd asked you immediately thereafter why one of them is dated 20 April.  And it seems like, since we haven't reached then yet… maybe they're reading into the future, but that's a case in the CAR [Central African Republic], which you were just talking about, Niger, sexual exploitation.  There's a case of child rape, alleged child rape, by a civilian UN contractor in UNMISS [United Nations Mission in South Sudan] and several cases from UNMIL [United Nations Mission in Liberia], I guess from the past.  One… so, what can you say about these cases? What's being done on them? Two, why is one of them dated in the future?  And then I have a question about UNAIDS [Joint United Nations Programme against HIV/AIDS]?

Spokesman:  I don't know why the dating issues…
Inner City Press:  I'm looking at it.

Spokesman:  I'm not debating the veracity of what you're telling me.  I'm just saying I don't know, which happens to be a fact on a lot of things, in fact.  The UNMISS case relates to allegations of rape of a 15-year-old minor, implicating a local contractor from the UN Mission in South Sudan, which resulted in a pregnancy.  We're, obviously, deeply concerned about the serious allegation which was reported in late March.  Through the support of our partners and the victim rights advocate on the ground, the victim has received immediate medical and psychosocial assistance.  The allegations are being investigated by OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services], and the local authorities are also informed of the allegations.
Inner City Press: But… so, do they have immun… I guess my question is, it says OIOS, but it seems like, if this is a… a local staff that's presumably allegedly raping a local citizen, is it subject to local law?

Spokesman:  It's a local contractor.  I think we're… it's being investigated.
Inner City Press:  And on UNAIDS?

Spokesman:  I'll come back to you on UNAIDS.... [Later]

Inner City Press: I just am saying the column that I was reading to you about 20 April 2018, it says "date" at the top of it.

Spokesman:  I have no doubt that you are right." And still, ten hours later, nothing. Meanwhile at the UN Stakeout, Guterres' envoy on Sexual Violence and Conflict said she no longer reports on UN abuse, Periscope video here, it's up to Jane Holl Lute - who says she doesn't follow the details. Guterres is making the UN worse and worse. Watch this site.  Inner City Press earlier in the month first reported and asked about two ten new cases, by a Burundi soldier in the Central African Republic, and a Gambian police figure in Liberia, before that UN Mission closed. The CAR mission MINUSCA is very much ongoing, making the alleged sexual exploitation by the force sent by "Eternal Supreme Guide" Pierre Nkurunziza all the more problematic. Since South Africa has been allowed to get away with not even suspending its accused soldiers - the UN even tried to cover this over with a colloquy, see below - one wonders how the UN will proceed with Burundi. When also wonders, when did the UN become aware? On April 5, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  I'd wanted to ask about, yesterday, it seems it was…  that it was yesterday that…  that new sexual exploitation allegations went up on the website.  The last time that I was asking was about the…  the most recent ones were five from…  in the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] by South African troops.  They were…  they were dated on the website March 20th.  And now two more have gone up, but they're both backdated or…  somehow they're dated March 20th.  So, it's a little difficult to know, but I had not seen them before.  So, I want to ask you about them.

One is a Burundian troop in MINUSCA in the CAR [Central African Republic].  The other is a Gambian police officer in the now closed UNMIL.

Spokesman:  Right.
Inner City Press:   What… is the dating correct?  Was…  what explains the gap between putting them up and… and them being dated that date?

And, two, what's the status of the…  of the Burundian?  Particularly, that mission is still open.  Is the person suspended, not suspended?

Spokesman:  I don't know why the issue of the dating was.  But, obviously, as you know, the Secretary-General has pushed forward, and we have been implementing a policy of much greater transparency in putting up allegations as they come to us and to the Conduct and Discipline Unit.

The one you're referring to about Burundi was reported last month to the Mission in the Central African Republic.  It relates to an exploitative relationship between a member of the Burundian military contingent who had been formally deployed in the Mission and an adult female.  The alleged victim has received medical assistance from an NGO inter-SOS and was referred to our partner UNFPA for further assistance.  The UN has requested the Member State to inform us whether it will appoint a national investigative officer.  They have until March 9th to respond to the request.

My reading of this is that the military person in question is no longer deployed there.
Inner City Press:  When you say March 9th, you mean April 9th.  I'm just… I'm… I don't know.  I just heard you say that.

I'm just… if it's possible to know going forward, just for reporting purposes, if something goes up…

Spokesman:  I didn't say March, did I say March 9th?
Inner City Press:   You did, but it doesn't…

Spokesman:  Okay.  No, I didn't mean March 9th.
Inner City Press:   My point is, can…  maybe you can find some answer.  In terms of seeing these things when your office is closed or wouldn't otherwise respond to an email, it's hard to know if they're… to call them new… are they new? If you put them up in April…

Spokesman:  If they're up on the website for the first time, they're clearly new.
Inner City Press:   Okay.  So, what does it mean to say March 20th? That's when they became aware, and it just happens to be the same date as all…

Spokesman:  That's when the Mission became aware.  But, I mean, the point is, we're talking about a few weeks.

Inner City Press: You understand the word…  to use the word "new," we don't want to misuse the word…

Spokesman:  As I said, if you haven't seen it, it's new to you." What an organization. Watch this site. On March 19 Inner City Press immediately reported on the previous cases: all in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the accused all from South African, all cases "pending." Since there was a recent group of "UN SEA" allegations against the South African contingent in DRC, it was unclear if these were the same or related case. So Inner City Press on March 20 asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who as it turned out had a prepared if-asked statement, that these are in fact new cases, that the UN is concerned - but not so concerned that he read out the statement without being asked, by the press he threw out of the Briefing Room and still restricts. This is the UN's disclosure, once a month, while they spin. Since then South Africa has said it will not suspended the troops during their own investigation. On March 28 outside the UN Security Council meeting on Peacekeeping, Inner City Press asked Council member Sweden's Ibrahim Baylan, Minister for Policy Coordination and Energy, if troops shouldn't be suspended once the UN finds probably cause to put on the list. His answer is here - and it seems that the answer is yes. Meanwhile, South Africa's SABC spin continues, witness this "interview" allowing the SA minister to speak at length in defense and obfuscation. And this too is how the UN works, or doesn't

On Burundi, Inner City Press Asks UN About Disappearing Statement on Nkurunziza Stopping Dialog


By Matthew Russell Lee, VideoVideo II

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- Long after the UN Security Council met about Burundi, on April 4 the Netherlands' Ambassador Karel van Oosterom told Inner City Press that a UNSC Presidential Statement, he hoped, would be adopted later in the day. Vine video here. But it did not happened on April 4; it was scheduled for 3 pm on April 5. (Here it is.) Nevertheless, AFP and Voice of America have reported that the Statement has already come out. Mistakes can be made - but these are two media which urged the UN to evict Inner City Press, which happened and where Inner City Press is still restricted. This UN is corrupt. On April 16 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcripthere: Inner City Press:  In Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza had said that he's basically going to suspend talks under Arusha through the East African Community.  And I'm asking you this because some have noted that there was a statement that went up on the AU's [African Union] website saying that the AU and the UN were deeply concerned about this, and then it went down.  But, a sort of a version of it is still up, in fact, the… so, I wanted to know, is the… is, in fact, the UN concerned about this?  And, if it is concerned, why did it express…

Spokesman:  I will check on Burundi." Nine hours later, nothing. 
Days after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres held an initially undisclosed meeting with Sudan's Omar al Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court, his UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Burundi bragged about supporting a government radio station - run by the wife of Pierre Nkurunziza. Now Nkurunziza's constitutional change referendum's date has been set, for 17 May 2018. It would break from the Arusha peace agreement - but what has Guterres or his part time envoy Michel Kafando had to say? On March 21, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you, in Burundi, now they've set the date for the constitutional referendum that some way would take… would swear off the Arusha peace agreement, of course, March… May 17th.  What I really wanted to ask you about, specifically, is, the person that refused to register, Simon Bizimana, was arrested for, quote, obstructing the electoral process for refusing to register to vote.  He was taken into police custody, and he has died in police custody.  And people say that he was essentially…

Spokesman:  I will check on that…
Inner City Press:  …beaten to death.

Spokesman:  I will check on this report…

Inner City Press: The reason I ask… I mean, I asked you before about the three groups that were… were sent… the three activists sentenced to ten years for setting up a human rights workshop, and you said you were looking into it.  I don't know who… who in the UN is actually tracking this?

Spokesman:  Well, you know, I think the various departments are tracking it.  I think the Secretary-General in… notably in his report, expressed his concern of the human rights situation, and I think that concern still stands today." The UN Security Council and its Burundi penholder, aware of Nkurunziza's party declaring him "Supreme Eternal Guide" or visions, never followed through the deployed the 228 UN police they "mandated." This comes as Nkuruziza goes after independent radio journalists like Jean Claude Nshimirimana of Radio Isanganiro, see below - and, ghoulishly, as Agence France Presse (AFP) claims that Guterres "takes aim at Burundi leader." Yeah - takes aim with financial support. Now Burundi has sentenced to 10 years in prison each three people for trying to organize a human rights workshop: Emmanuel Nshimirimana, Aime Constant Gatore and Marius Nizigiyimana, members of Parcem. So on March 13, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask about Burundi, since there is an envoy.  One, three human rights activists from the group PARCEM have been sentenced to ten years in jail for reportedly organizing a human rights workshop.  So, it seemed to many people to be a pretty extreme sentence, and I wonder if there's any comment on that.  And, two, the President, Pierre Nkurunziza, has been reportedly named the Eternal Supreme Guide of the CNDD-FDD party, which people see as part of a progression.  They now say he's just a visionary, but I guess I wanted to know,does the UN think what's happening in Burundi, given that you have an envoy, is it leaning more towards sort of one-person eternal visionary rule, or are things going in the way in which the envoy was supposed to be trying to work on it? Spokesman:  I would… listen, it's not for me to comment on party roles that leaders… titles that leaders may get.  I think the Secretary-General's position on Burundi and his concerns about Burundi are outlined in his latest report on Burundi, and they stand.  On the human rights access, I will check." We'll see. On March 1, Inner City Press asked the new President of the UN Security Council, the Netherlands, why there was no read-out of the Council's consultations on Burundi earlier in the week, after previous Council president Kuwait told it France was working on a Press Statement. On March 2, this response in the Kingdom of the Netherlands' (or KNL's) national capacity:  "Council members are currently discussing a PRST on Burundi." So on March 7, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Francois Delattre, What's up with the press statement on Burundi? Delattre turned to his two aides, then one aide and said, We are working with Quentin on it. With Quentin? Next, the French Mission omitted this Q&A from its transcript of the press encounter. A quick search of the Mission's website finds one Quentin Teissere - the third man in this video - working not only on Burundi and Rwanda but also DRC. But how can France be working with itself on aSecurity Council press statement on Burundi, eight days after the meeting? Perhaps France is holding too many pens, and should get a yellow card. In Burundi, on the pitch, Nkurunziza is having officials Cyriaque Nkezabahizi and Michel Mutama arrested after he was "roughed up" in a soccer or football match... This after an offer from FIFA of an honorary post didn't dislodge him. On February 26 after the UN Security Council met about Burundi, Inner City Press ran after Kafando and at the elevator asked him if Mkapa is quitting. No, he said, unless there is more recent news. In the chamber, Burundi's Ambassador Shingiro delivered a self staisfied speech. At the stakeout there was no media other than Inner City Press, which the UN evicted and still restricts. This is today's UN. On February 27, Inner City Press asked Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: Mkapa, could you finally… I just wanted to ask you… Spokesman:  As far as I know, he did not resign.
Inner City Press: He did NOT brief.  So, do you… but that's…?Spokesman:  "That's… as far as I understand it, he had expressed the possibility that he would.  But, as far as I know, he did not.  Okay.  Thank you all." Yeah. 
 
On February 22, Inner City Press asked the UN's top two spokesmen Stephane Dujarric and Farhan Haq about reports that mediator Benjamin Mkapa is quitting. The two spokesmennot onlyl did not answer - they didn't even confirm receipt, or provided the promised data on UN sexual harassment. Inner City Press has asked, " On Burundi, it seems Benjamin Mkapa has quit. What is the UN's / UNSG's / Kafando's comment, and plan going forward? Also, maybe I missed it, but where are the sexual harassment statistics it seemed would be emailed out after today's briefing?" Meanwhile Burundi's Ambassador to the UN Albert Shingiro told Inner City Press on February 21 that he had spoken with 13 of the Security Council's 15 members, with the final two - he declined to name them - scheduled for the coming days. It's come to this, at the UN. What did the UN say, and what if anything did it  do, about the detention of 
Aloys Habimana at the DR Congo - Burundi border? He was taken to a detention facility in Bujumbura and remains in custody of the Service National de Renseignements (SNR – National Intelligence Services). Inner City Press and others reported on the disappearance; we have now told he has been released.

In Tanzania, Bloggers Would Be Charged $930, UN Has Been Silent on Magufuli's Repression


By Matthew Russell Lee, VideoVideo II

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 – Amid much news in Tanzania, in February Inner City Press asked the UN about the government killing of NIT university student Akwilina Anwiline and the subsequent calling in of the Chadema opposition party. After a few days of questioning the UN expressed concern and said it was watching closing. Then nothing. Now the John Magufuli government is moving to charge bloggers and all online news sites and streamers $930, and to face fines of $2,200 if they "causes annoyance." It's the Electronic and Postal Communications (Online Content) Regulations 2018, here. At today's UN, they don't charge money - they just, for online journalism that causes annoyance, throw the journalist in the street (audio here), throw its laptop on the ground, and award its work space to a state media (in this case, Egypt's Akhbar al Yom, former UN Correspondents Association president Sanas Youssef) who never asks questions and rarely comes in. We'll have more on this. Back on March 27 Inner City Press asked again, about a new development - the detention of Chadema leader Freeman Mbowe and others - and the UN spokesman Farhan Haq repeated the same old statement, not updated, claiming to be watching closely. Video here. From the UN's transcript: Inner City Press: in [United Republic of] Tanzania, the… the national Chairman of the main opposition party has been arrested by the Government.  And I know that, in the past, maybe it was you or Stéphane — I can't remember — has had some statements on Tanzania.  Does… what does the UN think of this locking up the main opposition figure?

Spokesman:  I believe we've… yes, I think we have expressed our concerns about this some time back.  I would just refer you…

Inner City Press:  I think this arrest is pretty new, not to…

Spokesman:  Yes, but we've… but we had a wider concern about the situation that we expressed at the time, which I'm trying to find here.  Oh, yes.  We are following closely developments in Tanzania, and we would call on the authorities there to respect freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly." Following? Inner City Press on February 20 at the UN noon briefing put a question about it to the spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who spo a lot about preventative diplomacy. But the spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said only, "I had not seen those reports. I'll have to look into it and get back to you." Video here. Now on February 27, Inner City Press asked again, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I hope this question has been asked.  In [United Republic of] Tanzania, an opposition parliamentarian, Mr. [Joseph] Mbilinyi, has been sentenced to five months in prison for defaming President [John] Magufuli.  And I know that you'd said back on 22 February that the UN is calling for freedom of expression.  Do you view the jailing of parliamentarians for being critical of the President as consistent with that? Spokesman:  "I don't have the details of that particular case, but, clearly, people should have the freedom to express themselves in speaking about anything, including their political leaders." the UN is like a broken record that does nothing (except protect itself with immunity and censorship). Inner City Press asked Dujarric again at the February 21 UN briefing, video here (at end), UN transcript here: Inner City Press: You said yesterday that you were unaware of this killing of the university student and the subsequent calling in of opposition parties and sort of blaming them for what… and I guess I just wanted to know, there… there are many groups in… in [United Republic of] Tanzania they're saying things are getting increasingly repressive.  What is the UN's position on this? Spokesman:  I don't have any language on Tanzania at this point." The next day, without Dujarric or Guterres releasing anything, Inner City Press asked again, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  I want to ask you again about Tanzania and then about Guinea.  But in… you'd said yesterday that you had no language.  Do you… is that looking down… Spokesman:  I do have something… Inner City Press: Ah, language emerges. Spokesman:  Language has emerged on Tanzania.  And I can tell you that we're following closely developments in Tanzania, including the sad news of recent deaths of a local leader in Chadema, the main Tanzania opposition party, and of a university student who was travelling in a bus nearby a march by members of Chadema as they were being dispersed by the police.  First, we would like to express our condolences to the families of the deceased and call on authorities to respect freedom of expression and the right of peaceful assembly." So they wouldn't have released even this unless asked again. Fear of being declared persona non grata again, failure of commitment. This too: it seems obvious that journalists should not be serving up the "delicacies" of those they purport to be covering. But at the UN, as with content neutral accreditation and access rules, that is thrown out the window. This month the UN Correspondents Association is partnering with Kazakhstan, whose new media law is called repressive and draconian, to distribute "national delicacies" every Tuesday and Thursday. Photo here. On January 5, Inner City Press asked the UN Spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I actually have a different kind of press freedom question.  I wanted to ask you.  In [the United Republic of] Tanzania, the Government has fined a number of TV stations for simply reporting on a report by the legal Human Rights Centre about irregularities in an election and human rights abuses, and I'm wondering.  I know it's one of the countries where the UN has a, you know, a country team, et cetera.  Is the UN aware of that?  Do they have any comment on the open fining of stations simply for… for reporting on human rights issues? Deputy Spokesman:  "I don't have anything in particular on this, but we'll ask with our country team about that." Seven hours later, nothing. And no response from the UN Department of Public Information, whose chief Alison Smale was asked the simplest of questions. No answer, even as she suddenly promotes Kazakhstan stories. More on this to follow.

It's that Kazakhstan is president of the Security Council this month, and UNCA is selling the correspondents it charges a hundred dollars to access, or the illusion of access, however it might appear. In November it was espresso served up by Italy, the country of UNCA's long time landlord president Giampaolo Pioli. Now, it's Kazakhstan. A new and peculiarly UN tradition, of sycophantry, is born. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

On Yemen, UN Guterres Took $930M Check from Saudi, Now Flies There 1st Class, Blood Money II


By Matthew Russell Lee, PhotosPeriscope


UNITED NATIONS, April 15 -- UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres lavished praised on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on March 27, with not a word of the Saudi led bombing campaign that has killed civilians and caused cholera in Yemen. The occasion was Guterres accepting a $930 million check for the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan. Call it blood money I. Next, Guterres arranged to travel to Saudi Arabia on April 12 - but delayed it for the Saturday Syria meeting of the Security Council, outside of which Inner City Press asked Guterres, quite audibly, Now are you going to Saudi Arabia? Call it Blood Money Tour II. 
Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokespeople in writing to inform it when Guterres leave New York, and the costs. There has been no response, as usual with Guterres, on costs. (He doesn't like to answer Press questions, Vine video here.) But the UN on Sunday evening issue this: "the Secretary-General stayed back in New York over the weekend to address the Security Council on Saturday. His Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter Terrorism Office, Vladimir Voronkov, was at the Arab League Summit in his absence. The Secretary-General arrives in Riyadh on Monday and he will attend the 16th meeting of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Centre Advisory Board on Tuesday, where he will deliver remarks at the opening session of the meeting as planned.  The Secretary-General is still expected to be back in New York on 18 April." Blood Money II is back on.  Here are the questions Inner City Press submitted to Guterres' top two spokesmen on April 14, no answers at all: "reiterating Inner City Press' request to be informed when the Secretary General leaves New York, in this case for Saudi Arabia, and of any stop overs....as well separately of costs involved. Also, on the new Sexual Exploitation and Abuse cases put on the UN website at 5 pm on Friday April 13, please explain why one of them is dated April 20, 2018. And on the incidentin CAR of a peacekeeper found with ammunition, please state the nationality of the peacekeeper, or explain why you will not." On April 11, the US State Department - Inner City Press was there on April 10, asking two questions, here - has issued this: "The United States strongly condemns today’s Houthi missile attack on Riyadh.  We support the right of our Saudi partners to defend their borders against these threats, which are fueled by the Iranian regime’s dangerous proliferation of weapons and destabilizing activities in the region.  The Houthis’ continued attacks on Saudi population centers calls into question their commitment to helping shape a peaceful, prosperous, and secure future for Yemen.  We continue to call on all parties to return to UN-facilitated political negotiations and move toward ending the war in Yemen." But what about the Saudi air strikes, in Taiz and elsewhere? In France, a legislator in Emmanuel Macron's party is calling for an investigation of French arms sales to the Coalition, while Macron's minister assures it's all good. Sebastien Nadot and 15 other co-signatories are pushing for a 30-member commission "to study France’s compliance with international commitments regarding arms export licenses, munitions, training, services and assistance that our country has granted during these three years to the belligerents of the conflict in Yemen." Spinning prior to the Paris visit of Crown Prince MBS, compliant wires quoted an anonymous Macron flack that "there is a very strict control of arms exports ... which obeys very precise criteria, including the concern for situations in which civilian populations may be endangered." Really? Killing children with airstrikes? On April 4, Inner City Press asked the new UN Ambassador of the UK, Karen Pierce, about the recent Saudi airstrike which killed 12 civilians, among them seven children. She replied that the Saudi government adheres to international humanitarian law. Video here, Vine here. From the UK transcript: Inner City Press: On Yemen, have you seen the news of the air strike that killed 12 including 7 children. I am wondering if the Council, do you feel that the Saudi Coalition is being careful enough in how it bombs?
AMB PIERCE: I haven’t seen the news of that. I think that is is apparent and we have discussed this with our Saudi friends that there needs to be a political solution to the conflict in Yemen. We support Martin Griffiths the new Special Envoy and his work. I do know that in respect of Coalition operations, the Saudi government adheres to International Humanitarian Law. We talked to them bilaterally about that and we have offered them training to enhance their own efforts to that end but the obvious route forward is an inclusive political process. We will be discussing Yemen later in the Council in April and we will look forward to hearing from the new Special Envoy about that." We'll have more on this. Given that UNSG Guterres did not mention the bombing or the Children and Armed Conflict list that the Saudi led Coalition is still (barely) on, Inner City Press on March 28 asked Guterres' spokesman Farhan Haq, who said what Guterres said, is what he said. Asked how was in the meeting to following up on children and armed conflict listing, there was no answer - and no Virginia Gamba was seen. Blood money works, at the UN.

Friday, April 13, 2018

As UN Corruption in Somalia Exposed In $51.3M Cost Overrun Audit, UN Spins ICP Ignoring Violation


By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive; Photos; in Somali
UNITED NATIONS, April 13 - The corruption within the UN is growing, with today's Inner City Press exclusive example being the UN Support Office on Somalia, while the UN censors and restricts the Press which reports on it. After getting the UN to belatedly confirm an investigation of UNSOS for sexual exploitation, on April 11 Inner City Press published photos from the recent UN Board of Auditors' audit of UNSOS cost overruns of over $50 million for rations delivery. Photos here. Now on April 13 the UN answers Inner City Press by spinning the audit while ignoring its finding that the failure to request or obtain authorization from UNHQ violated the contract. Paragraph 5 in first photo here. The exclusive was quickly picked up in Somalia, credited here - but the UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, as of the morning of April 12, has not answered written questions from Inner City Press: "Regarding the Board of Auditors audit to/of UNSOS of cost overruns in rations delivery, what steps have been taken on the negative findings? And Monday's questions on Somalia / Somaliland and Kenya, and all three of yesterday's questions." Today's UN is both corrupt and non transparent, choosing to evict and restrict the Press to which UN system whistleblowers leak. Even when Inner City Press asked Dujarric in person about the audit, more than a day after written questions, Dujarric said he hasn't seen the audit and would take a look. Video here, UN transcript here: I'd asked yesterday in writing, but there's… an audit has emerged — Inner City Press has published it — of irregularities and cost overruns in UNSOS’ [United Nations Support Office in Somalia] provision of rations in… in Somalia, over $51.3 million of cost overruns, using an outside company when it seems that both the auditors and people that work there say the UN could have done it itself.  And I'm wondering… it's a negative audit.  What… what steps is taken by UNSOS?

Spokesman:  "I haven't seen the audit.  I'll take a look at it." A full day later, nothing. So Inner City Press asked again on April 13, and Dujarric belatedly came out with spin which ignored the audit's finding that failing to get authorization from UNHQ violated the contract. Video here. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press:  I had asked you first in writing, and then yesterday here in the briefing, about this audit of UNSOS [United Nations Support Office in Somalia] and its rations cost overrun of $53.1 million.  So I wanted to know… I… I would have hoped you would send an answer, but if you have one, if you can say it now, I would like to hear it.

Spokesman:  I thought I had an answer, but I don't, but we'll get one to you." Later in the briefing: On UNSOS, the Support Office for Somalia, I can tell you that the UN Board of Auditors looked into the matter in the fall of 2017, acknowledged that the cost overruns were due to the air delivery of rations.  The air deliveries were necessitated by the deteriorating road conditions and a surge in attacks by Al-Shabaab, by using improvised explosive devices on supply routes.  As the costs increase, the UN Office reprioritized its own aviation plans to take more responsibility for the delivery of rations, and the Mission discontinued its contract for air delivery of rations in October of 2016.

Question:  Can I continue…?

Spokesman:  Hold on.  No, I was answering a question he had asked before you came in.  Everybody will get their piece of me.
Inner City Press:   Sure.  I just want to say like, ‘cause, the actual audit says that UNSOS should have checked with Headquarters and didn't, and I've also seen a photo… is there a new head of UNSOS?  And is this individual who recently met with the Secretary-General…?

Spokesman:  There is a head that we announced…

Inner City Press: Okay… is she aware… is she still in New York?

Spokesman:  I don't believe she is in New York.  Abdelhamid, would you like to ask a question?" The audit says authorization was not requested or obtained from UNHQ, the contract was violated. The UN is corrupt. Dujarric's boss Antonio Guterres, recently took a UN Photo only selfie with new UNSOS head, Lisa Filipetto. We'll have more on this. The audit was directed to UNSOS' Amadu Kamara, critical of untransparent waste of $51.3 million. In essence, the corrupt rations contract  for air delivery was twice as expensive as using UN air assets  yet it went on until the Mission ran out of money. The UN's missions - that is, the public's funds - are being drained. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says he has a "zero tolerance" policy for sexual harassment, and for retaliation. But when Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on March 15 about Michel Sidibé's reported threats of retaliatory investigations against those making and offering support to sexual harassment complaints at UNAIDS, Haq said this is entire a matter for UNAIDS. Earlier Inner City Press story here. Will Guterres' less claimed zero tolerance for corruption be as illusory as on sexual harassment - or more? On March 29 when Inner City Press audibly asked Guterres, if he had even yet spoken to Sidibe, Guterres did not answer. Vine video hereThe unaddressed rot is not only at UNAIDS. Inner City Press has been informed, and now exclusively reports, that there are also sexual exploitation and abuse allegations at the UN Support Office in Somalia in Somalia (UNSOS), whose outgoing director Hubert Price Inner City Press previously questioned about negligent imposition of sewage on Somalis. The UN belatedly confirmed the investigation on April 6, when Inner City Press asked for the second time. The allegation is of paying for sex, against the senior level of UNSOS just below Price's now Amadu Kamara's post. It's what Inner City Press called "blue on blue," a terms like so many difavored by today's UN in denial. On April 2, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I tried to ask the Secretary-General, I guess it was on Thursday, about allegations that UNAIDS have retaliation by staff.  And, since then, as you may know, the victim or stated…  self-described victim of Luiz Loures, Martina Brostrom, has appeared on CNN International and described in great detail both what she says happened and…  and the very flawed investigation.

So, I wanted to know, presumably, even in Lisbon, this is…  CNN International is available.  What does the Secretary-General — who so far, at least to my knowledge, has said it's entirely up to UNAIDS — what does he think of this person coming forward?

And also I wanted to ask you, there appear to be new allegations of sexual exploitation at the UN support office in Somalia.  And I'd like you…  maybe you can't do it now, but maybe you can ask OIOS…

Spokesman:  I'll check…

Question:  …for a status on the case.

Spokesman:  I'll check on Somalia."
  But Dujarric for four days never responded with any answer. In fact, he had one, but apparently hoped either that Inner City Press would not ask again, or that he could again throw Inner City Press out. But on April 6 Inner City Press asked, saying it knows the name of the alleged perpetrator (it does), and then Dujarric confirmed that an investigation has been ongoing since November. But it's now April. Dujarric declined to confirm that both sides in the allegations are UN personnel: blue on blue. There are also allegations of theft of fuel and fraud in rations - we'll have more on this.
Present on March 29, before Guterres' unannounced four day junket to Lisbon, was Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale, who orders UN staff to "speak with one voice" - hers - on allegations of sexual harassment. She has continued to restrict Inner City Press, declining for months to even answer what the rules are.Inner City Press has been receiving detailed complaints about mismanagement and harassment in UNAIDS, but the UN refuses to answer. So below are some more of the complaints. Tellingly, the day after Guterres refused Inner City Press' question about UNAIDS, here are Loures' victims speaking publicly, in their own names:  Martina Brostrom, a policy advisor at UNAIDS, said of Loures at a conference in Bangkok, Thailand in 2015"I was pleading with him, and I was just bracing with all that I could just to not leave the elevator."  Guterres? No answer - and naction. Where is Guterres on this? Where is Guterres? Malayah Harper, who used to run UNAIDS' programs in Uganda and Kenya, on Loures a year earlier, also at a hotel"He got into the lift with me, and then kind of lunged forward to -- you could call it -- kiss me, but I thought a kiss had to be consensual." We'll have more on this, and on retaliation. Some more of the complaints exclusively published by Inner City Press: "Michel Sidibé has established this 'boys club' culture where qualified women are made to feel less worthy, are openly ridiculed by male colleagues except those women who are providing favors to him and his 'boys,' he continues to give perks to his boys who serve as his connectors to presidents, prime ministers etc by appointing them to important positions as well as even when they retired bridging them back on special assignments for them to make easy money. People such as Fritz Lherisson, Georges Shaw and more recently Abdoul Dieng." There are the Mali connections, beyond what Inner City Press reported about Burundi on March 23, here"Ben Wahab - A Malian recently appointed as UNAIDS Country Director for Burundi with no country level and no management experience. He came in as a P4 Adviser and very quickly in 3 years he rose to his present position of UNAIDS Country Director.... Theresa Poirier, a Malian Canadian,  UNAIDS Country Director for Malawi .Also a relatively new comer to UNAIDS appointed by Michel as Director in Mali and now serving in Malawi as UNAIDS Country Director... Fode Simanga a Malian serving as senior adviser in Geneva but graded at Director level... Dado SY Kagnsssy a Malian before UNAIDS Country Director for Djibouti, very little experience,non articulative  and a fairly new comer to UNAIDS who was appointed to this position whilst many longer serving staff members are over looked and now posted to Guinea as UNAIDS Country Director.. Amakonde Sande (moved from consultant to P4 in short order to  P5 as UNAIDS Country Director in Malawi and then sent to Uganda  a D1 position where she stayed only for 3 months only to be appointed to China as UNAIDS Country Director... Bridgitte Quenum recently appointed as UNAIDS Country Director but she has no leadership, management experience and was appointed over other more senior  persons. It is reputed that her family is/was a great friend of Michel Sidibe and that is how she entered UNAIDS and now gained this distinguished position." But note - not only has Antonio Guterres bragged recently that now at the UN "we have some Portuguese things" - he also has his own hiring and traveling patterns.
As to UNAIDS and Sidibe, there is talk of mining business; there are harassment complaints and findings that Sidibé refuses to act on.  Of Girmay Haile, the current UNAIDS country director in Zimbabwewhistleblowers tell Inner City Press that a recent internal investigation came unanimously to the conclusion of severe bullying and intimidation just two weeks ago - but Sidibé has refused to move him. This followed a previous investigation against Girmay Haile Girmay HaileGirmay HaileGirmay Hailein Kenya; Sidibe refused the recommendation of the internal team and promoted him to country director Ghana. Girmay Haile has reportedly said he knows too much and if he falls they all fall. We shall see.
  Back on March 15 when Inner City Press asked about the UN Secretariat's own investigation of whistleblowers, for the second day in a row, Haq again defended it, as somehow benefiting member states. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: I'm sure you've seen the article in The Guardian quoting Michel Sibidé [sic] of UNAIDS [Joint United Nations Programme against HIV/AIDS].  What I wanted to ask you is, he seems to be attacking those who came forward in the sexual harassment case against Luiz Loures.  He's attacked them.  He's said that Loures is a… is… made a courageous decision.  And, of his detractors, he says, we know these people are taking their golden shan… handshakes from us here and knowing they have a job and then attacking us.  We know all about that.  We know every single thing.  Time will come for everything.  When I hear anything about abuse of our assets, I ask for an investigation.  Maybe these investigations are going on.  And so, many staff and many people in the… in the “#MeToo” movement see this as a direct threat against those who came forward.  And I wonder, what does António Guterres… who I'm… I… I would assume is a reader of The Guardian, what does he think of these comments?

Deputy Spokesman:  We're aware of this article.  Obviously, it's for UNAIDS and Mr.  Sidibé to explain what the comments attributed to him are.  
At UNESCO in Paris there are cover-ups and retaliation in the wake of the two-step firing of Assistant Director General Frank La Rue for sexual harassment. 
But when Inner City Press on March 20 asked Guy Berger, the grandly titled Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, if he thought reporting on l'affaire La Rue, which has included Inner City Press' exclusive report that after his suspension he was still getting paid and now questions about UNESCO Ethics Adviser Rebecca Trott, Berger said he was unaware of the specifics of the case and to ask UNESCO's press officer. 
  Since Inner City Press published the video of the Q&A, it has heard from UNESCO staff in New York that Berger "lied - he was among the best friends of La Rue, defended him at every turn, while also trying to take his job." This is how the UN works - work with collaborators like Berger's former student, to cover up abuse, while seeking mutual advancement. It is disgusting. So too on Rebecca Trott, UNESCO's "Ethics" adviser. As question mount about cover up, it will be interesting to know who is still protecting her within the organization. We'll have more on this.
Likewise, after Berger has spoken and joked with a former student (given the first question) about the importance of independent media and even holding power in check, when Inner City Press asked about the UN's FAO and WIPO going after the press, he said he was unaware but implied it might be justified.

When Inner City Press asked about the UN Department of Public Information's continuing lack of content neutral media access rules, despite Inner City Press' repeated requests to DPI boss Alison Smale, both his student and the UN moderate looked surprised, as if they didn't understand. 
OK: Inner City Press was evicted from its UN work space for pursuing the Ng Lap Seng UN bribery case in the UN Press Briefing Room - an event of the group headed by Berger's student - and has been a non-resident correspondent requiring DPI “minders” to cover the UN General Assembly and its President. Meanwhile its office was given to a no-show Egyptian state media, Akhbar al Yom's Sanaa Youssef, who has not ask the UN a question in ten years. 

Media that rarely come in and ask anything have arrived since Inner City Press' eviction and have been given UN office space. Inner City Press has been told it is not even on the list, and Smale has not answer a single email. No rules. We'll have more on this (charade) - and on UNESCO. Watch this site.