Monday, June 13, 2016

On Libya, UN Condemns Killing of Freed Prisoners, UNSC Has 2 Resolutions

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 13 -- In Tripoli last week, prisoners were released from jail, then tortured and killed. Now the UN mission for the country has issued a statement condemning the killings, below. Meanwhile the UN Security Council is set on June 13 to extend the mandate of UNSMIL, and later in the week to authorize more EU action off the coast.

"The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Martin Kobler, condemns in the strongest terms the killing of 12 prisoners, which occurred on 9 June 2016 in Tripoli, after their release was ordered by the court. He expresses his deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims.

“I am utterly shocked and saddened by this heinous and vile crime, and particularly outraged by family accounts indicating that the victims were savagely beaten and shot in the head and chest several times.” Martin Kobler said. “This crime should be thoroughly and independently investigated and perpetrators must face justice,” he added.

The Special Representative reminds everyone that impunity must end. Rule of law is the foundation of democratic institutions. “I urge the relevant Libyan authorities to establish a joint national - international investigation and I will follow developments closely” stressed Martin Kobler.

The Special Representative also urges for measure to be taken to ensure the safety of all detainees and prisoners, including at the time of their release.
"Note to Correspondents: The circumstances surrounding the killings are still unclear. The Judicial Police (Libya’s prison service) has declared that the 12 prisoners were released from Al-Baraka prison on Thursday, 9 June 2016 at 13.30 in compliance with the court order, before the killings took place.

The bodies of the prisoners were identified by family members in hospitals on Friday,10 June 2016 in the afternoon. According to their families, the victims were savagely beaten and shot in the head and chest several times and some of them were burnt with their hands and feet tied."

As noted, the UN Security Council is set on June 13 to extend the mandate of UNSMIL, and later in the week to authorize more EU action off the coast. Meanwhile in terms of covering this, the UN after ousting Inner City Press, evicting its office and moving to give it to Egyptian state media Akhbar Elyom which targets independent journalists, now while exposed in mis-statements refuses to return access or office, click here for that.

  While in the United States the name Banghazi has one resonance, in the actual city protests and crackdowns have continued. On May 7 UN envoy Martin Kobler issued this statement:
"Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Martin Kobler strongly condemns the attack on demonstrators in al-Kish Square in Benghazi in the afternoon of 6 May.  
 In the UN, while restricted in its movements and access, Inner City Press on May 6 asked Libya's Ibrahim Dabbashi about the UN being asked to remove him as Ambassador. He told Inner City Press it was "baseless," and due to restrictions Inner City Press was not able to follow him down the hall to ask more. We'll have more on this. 
Similar to France's hypocrisy talking about the control of small arms and light weapons while airdropped crates of automatic weapons into the Nafusa Mountains, the UN speechifies about free press while this year in its headquarters:
(1) UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric on January 29 ordered Inner City Press out of the UN Press Briefing Room, while it sought to cover an event related to the UN corruption scandal - the UN Correspondents Association under Giampaolo Pioli, who previously rented one of him Manhattan apartments to Sri Lankan diplomat for whom Pioli then unilaterally granted a “UN” screening of his war crimes denial film, took money from Ng Lap Seng's South South News and gave Ng a photo op with Ban Ki-moon;
(2) USG Cristina Gallach on February 19 for that coverage ordered Inner City Press out of the UN on two hours notice, enforced by eight UN DSS guards who threw Inner City Press out onto First Avenue, its laptop on the sidewalk; (Gallach pals around with Pioli - and has done NOTHING even as Pioli came to the UNSC stakeout on March 24 and four times loudly called Inner City Press “an a*hole” - a teacher's pet dandy, corrupt system)
(3) USG Miguael de Serpa Soares on March 28 issued a threat of imminent eviction while ignoring a simple argument sent to him a month before (on March 30, when ICP asked Dujarric about this omission, Dujarric said to write to de Serpa Soares.) (4) on March 30, as ICP worked on this and the Security Council. Gallach had an underling say despite or because of all this she is setting a deadline - more on this to follow...
 Back on February 5, after UNCA's ouster but before Gallach's, while othemember states in the UN have dodged the bullet of losing their right to vote in the General Assembly for non-payment of dues, it seemed Libya has not. And Inner City Press keep hearing challenges have been raised to Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi's accreditation as the country's Ambassador. So on February 5 Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: you often read out the honour roll.  I guess I want to ask you about a… either a dishonour roll or just factual question.  It’s widely reported that, while others got exemptions, Libya has lost its vote in the GA (General Assembly).  And given that… given what an oil-rich country it is and given that the UN has a Mission there, one, can you confirm that that’s taken place?  And, two, I wanted to ask you, has the Secretariat received any correspondence concerning the… the, I guess, credentials of Ambassador [Ibrahim] Dabashi?

Deputy Spokesman:  I don’t have anything to report on Ambassador Dabashi.  Regarding Libya, we had provided and you’ll have seen the list of countries that fall under Article 19 for losing their vote.  I believe, in recent days, several of them have paid sufficient dues so that they are no longer on that list.  But you might need to check with our colleague Dan [Thomas] in the Office of the General Assembly Spokesperson whether Libya is in that category or not
 On November 16, Inner City Press asked the UN's lead spokesman Stephane Dujarricvideo here, transcript here
  Leon's predecessor as UN envoy to Libya Tarek Mitri, however, got a formal "Note" from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, signed by Ban's chief of staff Susana Malcorra and cc-ed to Under Secretaries GeneralJeffrey Feltman (Political Affairs), Yukio Takasu (Management) andJoan Dubinksy (Ethics Office) approving outside activity for Mitri, which Inner City Press is putting online hereand embedded below.
  Among the continuing outside engagements approved by Ban Ki-moon were for Mitri to be on the Board of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, in Beirut and Doha.
  Did Leon get, or even seek, such a Note from Ban? 

  For Leon, it's about more than optics. Inner City Press has researched and compared Bernardino Leon's conduct, as reflected by the emails he does not dispute, to the UN Charter and UN staff rules which apply to him. And after publishing the rules, Inner City Press on November 6 asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about them. Video here.
  A check of Ban Ki-moon's Public Disclosure website, where his officials are supposed to make rudimentary disclosure of the finances and outside business interests, does not even list Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed (while numerous other Deputy SRSGs are listed). His is not in the most recent database, for 2013 - and may escape any disclosure by become an Under Secretary General with a mere nine month stint at UNMEER. Then what? We'll stay on this.
  When the UN Security Council met about Mali on January 6, it was Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop, and not UN Peacekeeping official Herve Ladsous, who distributed his speech and came to take Press questions. (Ladsous has a policy against it, here and here.)
  Inner City Press asked Diop about the Mali talks in Algiers, and about the impact of Libya. On the latter, Diop said that “in 2012 the Mali crisis started when the war started in Libya and many Malian elements who were part of the Libyan army decided to come back home with the arms and ammunition. This started the destabilization of Mali.”
   Diop added, "In the southern part of Libya there is a group that has declared allegiance to the Islamic State.” (When asked to name the group he could not or would not.)
On Leon: To try to counter Libya's lawless power struggle, the UN engaged in one of its own. 
  And unlike most of the member states that make up the UN, and most other inter-governmental organizations, this UN does not answer questions, at least not directly.
  In 2011 when France had already gotten its Jerome Bonnafont in place to replace its Alain Le Roy atop UN Peacekeeping, Bonnafont's bragging about it in India, where he was French Ambassador, led to Ban rescinding the "offer."

  France countered with three time loser Herve Ladsous, Inner City Press reported each step -- including Bonnafont in July 2011 being tapped for the post, and even congratulation cards to Bonnafont, here, and threats from AFP then the UN Correspondents Association -- and the rest is, well, a type of history (coverage in UK New Statesman, here).
  Ladsous refuses all Inner City Press questions, video compilation here; Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq on August 8, alluding to Ladsous and now UNDPsaid it is because of "people skills." Or reporting?
  So Ban has accepted or done nothing to stop this P3 power grab to oust Mitri. But can "his" successor be pre-announced and Ban accept that too? 
Footnote: Inner City Press is exclusively informed that UNSMIL deputy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed also has business, literally: fishing business. Ban and those in control of this play accept that too? Watch this site.