Friday, January 27, 2017

At UN, Gallach Evicted & Restricts Press From Holocaust Event For Covering UNCorruption

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 27 – Eleven months ago, acting against Press coverage of her and Ban Ki-moon's links to UN corruption cases, Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach had Inner City Press physically ousted from the UN.  Audio here. 

  Since then a campaign of harassment by UN Security and the requirement that Inner City Press unlike other media have minders to stake-out public events in the UN has continued.

 This even as Ban Ki-moon left the UN and the United States on the day his brother and nephew were indicted for bribery and using Ban's and the UN's name to try to sell a 72-story building in Vietnam to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.
   The hindrance of Inner City Press' coverage ranges from formal General Assembly meetings to a January 27 event about the Holocaust.
 After asking the Ambassador of Qatar about the war in (and bombing of) Yemen, Inner City Press went early to cover the even. New Secretary General Antonio Guterres and his team walked by, waving. Inner City Press, having seen there was no one in Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, was told by UN Security it could not cover the event.
  For 15 minutes Inner City Press waited, finally stating this was happening due its reporting on Ban Ki-moon and corruption. UN Security began to write up a report, a full Kafka. We'll have more on this.
  On January 24, there was an event ironically about "propaganda." Here was the definition given, in this tweeted photo.
 While the event went on, Inner City Press under Gallach's 11-month old eviction order was required to leave before 7 - its UN pass stops working in UN turnstiles at that time.
  On January 17, for an event involving Gallach herself as a speaker, despite having been invited -- not by the UN -- and having its RSVP confirmed, Inner City Press was stopped by UN Security and not allowed to enter. Video here.
     In any event, with the UN pass that Gallach has reduced, Inner City Press cannot get through any turnstiles to work after 7 pm. Gallach herself appears in the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services audit of the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe (RIP) UN bribery case, at Paragraphs 37-40 and 20b, as having done no due diligence of Ng Lap Seng's buying of UN events and even its Slavery Memorial. Audit here.
   She and Ban Ki-moon, to punish and make more difficult coverage of their links to these cases, evicted Inner City Press and restrict it to this day, 11 months later. As to Ban, Inner City Press on January 17 appeared in a 19-minute interview about corruption and censorship on Seoul's TBS radio. On the lower profile, entirely unaccountable Gallach, we'll have more. 
This is a litmus test of press (UN) freedom.

Gallach's censorship order of February 2016 prevented Inner City Press in December 2016, for the first time in years, from covering the UN budget process, including on human rights and Burundi, another of Ban Ki-moon's failures.

For years Inner City Press has been virtually alone in covering the late night Fifth (Budget) Committee session in which billions of dollars are carved up. But in 2016 for the first time, following Gallach's retaliatory eviction order and ghoulish restriction regime of minders and the putting off of pass, Inner City Press could not cover the budget.

   By seizing Inner City Press' long time office -- and awarding it to an Egypt state media Akhbar al Yom whose correspondents Sanaa Youssef rare comes to the UN and never asks questions -- Gallach and Ban have made so that Inner City Press cannot enter the UN after 7 pm. But that, of course, is when the budget process happens.

   In December 2016, for example, Burundi cut the funds for human rights observers and the UN mission the Security Council mandated but has yet to deploy. Inner City Press covers these, but was Banned from covering the process by Gallach. This is a cover up.

    Meanwhile Gallach is showing her true colors with article such as that “amateurs” killed journalism. Really? Energetic online media that actually covers UN corruption is a threat to deadbeat stenography or non-existent journalism like that of Akhbar al Yom's correspondent?

Gallach is the wrong person to have control of the UN Department of Public Information. She also did no due diligence on Macau based businessman Ng Lap Seng in the John Ashe case, and is responsible for the UN's Wonder Woman fiasco. She must go.