By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, February 20 – Can an official of the United Nations, protected by legal immunity, nevertheless make legal threats to sue the media for its reporting on war crimes and UN corruption? The question has been raised not only by just-gone Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's threats to take “further measures” for reporting on his alleged involvement in bribery cases, but also by Ban's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee's attempts to deny involvement in abuses by his military unit in Sri Lanka.
Inner City Press has reported on those abuses, including that Chatterjee inappropriately sought to get the information, in at least one case successfully, removed from the Internet. On Sunday February 19, 2017, after Chatterjee had refused a request that he respond on camera and then a UN staff member to three times long-distance call Inner City Press on that Sunday about the issue, Inner City Press asked him in written, at his UN email address, to “confirm or deny that you acted to get an article about yourself removed from a publication, on information and belief the Indian Star.”
Chatterjee has responsed, “Yes I did tell [the journalist] that what was published in the Star was untrue and libellous.”
This is in keeping with Chatterjee's father in law's Ban Ki-moon's threat to South Korean's Sisa Journal to take “further measures.” Chatterjee at the time of the initial threat and now is a UN official, repeatedly promoted under and then by his father in law. Chatterjee is immunity from legal process, but got information about war crimes in Sri Lanka and nepotism removed from the Internet (and even archives) by legalistic threat. It is to this still-continuing low that Ban Ki-moon and his family have brought the UN. We'll have more on this.
Sri Lanka war crimes was also the topic of threats made to Inner City Press in the UN, that if it did not remove reporting from Internet (it did not) it would be thrown out of the UN (it was, by Ban Ki-moon and his censorship alliance and head of communications Cristina Gallach, with continued restrictions to "minders" inside the UN). We'll have more on this as well.