Thursday, April 7, 2016

On UN's Ouster of Inner City Press 1,230 People Petition Ban to Restore Full Access & Office

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 6 -- Since the UN threw Inner City Press out onto First Avenue on February 19, audio here, a petition to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his chief of staff Edmond Mulet to fully restore Inner City Press to its long time office and Resident Correspondent accreditation has been signed by over one thousand, two hundred and eighty (1,280) people. Some sample comments, beyond those previously published are below.
On April 6, the eviction deadline set still without providing any specifics on the alleged violation nor any opportunity to be heard or to appeal, the petition was presented to Mulet and Ban Ki-moon. 
At the same time, the free speech and whistleblower protection organization Government Accountability Project (GAP) formally asked Ban to take action to reverse the decision that will soon result in Mr. Lee's expulsion from his office, citing Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Beyond the more than 1,230 signatures, here are some of the comments and reasoning of those signing the petition, beyond those previously published:
Matthew Lee is very outspoken and a person of his caliber needs a special place in the UN to tell the truth to the world which other wise will go unchecked. That is the very reason he has been banned from the premises now. If this is left to continue, the UN will be be turned into a circus of comedians. It is time the big guns who run the UN live up to their responsibilities.” Appapillai Rajendra, Dunellen, NJ
I support freedom of press. UN should not behave like Government of Sri Lanka. If UN has nothing to hide why fear?” Ambi Seeva
Due process is something that must be part of all government. The UN, however, a cancerous, malignant, cesspool of inequality. The deserve to be investigated, exposed, and shut down,” Eric Brame, Kissimmee, FL
There are few credible and critical journalists covering the UN. With the incessant lies and obfuscations by talking heads there, and particularly now with the critical focus on Syria and Yemen, journalists like Lee, who ask the questions which need to be ask and who document the lies told, need to be inside the UN,” Eric vd Worp, Cape Town, South Africa
As a person living in one of the most hot areas (Darfur)which has been forgotten. Matthew is my voice.” Ibrahim SULIMAN, El-Geniena, Sudan
Matthew Russell Lee has done a huge service to the international community by bringing transparency and candor to the daily functioning of the UN. Limiting his access is a crime against freedom of the press. Without his exposes on Haiti, Sri Lanka and so many regions on Africa, we would have been in the dark on matters of crucial importance for human rights and international security. It is of utmost importance for the credibility of the United Nations that he be reinstated without delay. The lack of due process in investigating the alleged incident that led to his expulsion is disgraceful. Matthew's contribution in bringing transparency to the intermingling of private fortunes with decision-making by senior UN officials has been a public service, and without this dogged investigative reporter, our ability to understand and rein in potential corruption in UN affairs will be diminished. He must absolutely be reinstated, failing which, UN Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach must resign.” Nick Jones, Brussels, Belgium
I believe in freedom of expression, and association; and am against bullying smaller units by the big powers. Shame on UNSC.” Berhane Alazar, Des Moines, WA
As a writer and analyst covering Mideast geopolitics from the region, I have often relied on Matthew Lee's timely and detailed reports on UNSC deliberations affecting this part of the world. He brings nuance to his UN coverage that is invaluable for analysts following hot issues unfolding at the Security Council. The UN's actions against Inner City Press border on flat-out harassment and censorship of an unconventional media voice. I support Matthew's courageous reporting and urge others to also do so by signing this petition.” sharmine narwani, london, United Kingdom
As an employee of the UN I am appalled at the corruption and incompetence of our leaders. It is a sad moment for the UN and signals the beginning of the end. There is no rule of law in our house.” Eduardo Diaz, New York, NY
I have huge respect for the integrity and work of ICP,” Michael Barton, Wellington, New Zealand
Uno de los trabajos mas independientes de comunicación en Naciones Unidas,” Abdeslam Omar Lahsen, Auserd, Western Sahara
I want insider news from the UN,” Nevenka Savovic, Belgrade, Serbia
Matthew Russell Lee brought so many stories out to light. By throwing him, UN is implementing news censorship. If Matthew did wrongful things, then Ms. Gallach should have given him the chance to come up with his side. Wrong! wrong! wrong!” ananther boopathy-balavadivetkaran, 55246 Mainz-Kostheim, Germany
I'm signing because I refuse to shut down the last voice of Darfur inside the organization,” rayan ibrahim, Khartoum, Sudan
He is one of the few if not the only journalist with total integrity willing to tackle corruption in the UN and its members states his reporting is beyond value,” nicholas fowler, brynteg, United Kingdom
I am incensed,” Frances Fortune, Kitchener, Canada
As a Darfuri & human rights activist I demand UN to restore Matthew Lee, representative of Inner City press, a permanent access to UN. Mr Lee is the voice of the victims & truthfully highlight our issues. his banning is a farce to silence truth,” Dr Muhammad Zkria Faragala, Nottingham, United Kingdom
I'm signing because if ICP is not allowed in to cover the UN then there is no coverage of the UN,” Jack Serle, London, United Kingdom
Matthew Lee has done more for the cause of pursuing truth and truth telling in international affairs than any other UN Correspondent over the past decade, plus. He should be allowed back to the UN to continue to ask the necessary tough and discerning questions,” Pavle Mikov, Manhasset Hills, NY
ICP is being treated unfairly , Mathew Lee is a valued journo,” Nicholas Georganis, Australia
UN should restore accountability by ceasing harassment of journalist Matthew Lee who has been one of the few reporters to report to the world on those hush-hush Security Council meetings on Syria,” Ray Bergmann, Brisbane, QLD, QLD

Give ICP press access so that their journalist can give US brief and critical information about what is happening at the UN,” daniel Goitom, Stockholm, Sweden