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September 17, 2018

Misplaced Focus on Nikki Haley Curtains While UN Says She Supports Censorship of Press So FOIA Filed

By Matthew Russell Lee, PFT Q&A Haley Scope

UNITED NATIONS GATE, September 14 – That the US government is paying $58,000 a month to rent the full floor penthouse across from the UN for Nikki Haley is one thing. The $52,700 for mechanized curtains was a decision made under the Obama Administration, when Samantha Power was US Ambassador to the UN.

But what needs to have the curtains drawn on it, so to speak, is the current lack of transparency. The UN of Secretary General Antonio Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up on July 3 as it covered the UN Budget Committee meetings on his $6.7 billion proposals, and has had it banned from the UN since - by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' head of Global Communications Alison Smale, until a year ago the Berlin bureau chief of the New York Times, which has backtracked on curtain-gate but remains silent on and stands behind Smale's censorship.

    The US Mission under Haley has done nothing - in fact, Inner City Press is informed that Guterres' UN is telling people that the US Mission supports and even requested the banning of Inner City Press.

   Inner City Press has filed a Freedom of Information Act request, no documents responsive to which have yet been produced. Asking question at the UN Delegates Entrance, since it is banned from the UN Security Council stakeout and noon briefing, Inner City Press has repeatedly asked Haley about the censorship (and about Cameroon, abuse by UN peacekeepers, and UN bribery). Haley does not answer. This is not transparency - the curtains should be and will be pulled back. Watch this site. How arrogant or out of touch a self-styled world leader is has been revealed in the Leader's contemptuous approach to freedom of the press and whose who even gently chide him on it, including a Nobel Peace Prize winner. No, this is not a reference to Donald Trump, but to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, including as represented by his Franco-American spokesman Stephane Dujarric. And now Inner City Press is told that Guterres is cynically trying to recast his 65 days of censorship as being based on a request FROM the Trump Administration, or at least Trump's UN Mission to the UN and its ally, the UK. A UN Correspondent who sought as many have to get the ban on Inner City Press lifted at least from the upcoming General Assembly week has said, in writing: "I spoke with Stephane the other day and unfortunately your situation remains unchanged. The case against you is based on complaints from the US & UK Missions... I have tried to get you a waiver for the UNGA week but Security remains firm in their refusal." So, the answer is that Guterres ban on Inner City Press -- which began on July 3 right after I spoke with Cameroon's Ambassador -- is now based on questions I have asked the US Mission's Deputy Ambassadors including Jonathan Cohen and UK Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen at the Delegates' Entrance AFTER I was already banned. There was also serial questioning of Guterres and UK Permanent Representative Karen Pierce in front of IPI on July 20, Periscope video here. In fact, all of my questioning of the US and UK Missions, and all other Mission, is online on Periscope, full archive here. It is no different that the questions hurled at Trump. But there, the First Amendment applies. At the UN, it seems, an already censoring Secretary General can claim to get subsequent support from... Trump and his Mission. See 6 September 2018 question put to US Ambassador Nikki Haley, here. Inner City Press had already submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the UK government, after statements by UN (British) Under Secretary General Alison Smale. Now today a US FOIA request has been filed to the US State Department in Washington:

"On behalf of Inner City Press and in my personal capacity as its United Nations bureau chief, Matthew Russell Lee, pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 for the following information: 1) Most pressingly, any and all record reflecting communications by the US Mission to the UN or its personnel to the UN concerning Inner City Press or me, including but not limited to my questioning and broadcasting on Periscope of and concerning such personnel; and 2) any and all record reflecting communications by the US Mission to the UN or its personnel to the UN concerning Inner City Press or me from January 1, 2017 to the date of your response.    This request, particularly (1) above which can and should be treated separately, should be afforded expedited treatment. I have today been informed that my banning from the UN, including prospectively from covering the UN General Assembly High Level week as I have for 11 years and for which I submitted a timely application on Sept 3, is based on complaints by the US Mission to the UN, who officials I have questioned in a journalistic capacity since July 5. Such a complaint would impinge on my First Amendment rights, and threatens imminent irreparable harm. Expedited treatment must be accorded.  If this request is denied in whole or part, please provide the basis for each such denial or deletion by reference to the specific exemption of the Act which you assert is applicable. Request for All Portions of Material for Which No Exemption to Production is Claimed Please provide all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. We reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information... I am requested expedited treatment of the request for all USUN communications to the UN about Inner City Press or me since July 3, 2018 due to such communications being cited as a basis to ban me from covering the UNGA High Level week beginning September 24 - the US Mission is being called responsible for the ban and it is imperative to prove or disprove that before then, asap, before irreparable harm including to First Amendment interests takes place." ["Your request has successfully been submitted."] Watch this site. We maintain: on press freedom, in terms of actual acts, Guterres is worse than Trump: Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up, twice, and now banned for life. On September 5, after a report-back from a large democracy - not the United States - which sought to intervene to stop Guterres' censorship, Inner City Press turned it into a question to Guterres' spokesmen and Deputy and Alison Smale: "September 5-2: I'm informed that when approached by a major democracy the/your answer has been that my “issue is being treated as one which does not require consultation with Member States as it relates to Security & DPI taking action in pursuit of existing procedures” (which?) and that this is not the only case where restrictions have been placed and in the past other journalists too have been banned. Please explain by what right the Secretariat ignores member states, given the conflicts of interest and needs for recusals timely raised, and state the precedents of other expulsion, on what grounds, with what due process and for what periods of time. Note my September 3 application." Hours later - after Guterres' ASG Fabrizio Hochschild's declined to answer Inner City Press' question by claiming that Dujarric is answering - Deputy Farhan Haq replied, "as for question 5-2, the Spokesman has never said that." So Inner City Press immediately specified: "The "you" in question Sept 5-2 referred to the UN Secretariat for which you speak. And that's what they tell me was the answer. So the request pre-publication for your Office as the Spokesperson to "explain by what right the Secretariat ignores member states, given the conflicts of interest and needs for recusals timely raised, and state the precedents of other expulsion, on what grounds, with what due process and for what periods of time. Note my September 3 application." After having been told this afternoon by ASG Hochschild that that "Steph" is providing answers - after al this time, response on one (or I guess if you include Sept 5-3, two) out of 24 questions?  Please provide a list of and read outs for SG Guterres' meeting with African officials while in China, including in light of UNanswered question Sept 5-6" concerning Guterres' son's business links in Angola, Cape Verde, Timor Leste and Sao Tome. No answer - but a colleague from the UN's fourth floor said first there were boxes by Inner City Press' workspace then the boxes were gone. The UN went through Inner City Press' files. [Update: because of being contacted by concerned whistleblowers, clearly Guterres' retaliatory UN's goal, we specify: we never print out anything so this intrusion by Guterres and Smale will be for naught. But it shows what they have made the UN.] We'll have more on that, and this: while a major democracy is told Guterres' censorship is none of its business, Guterres' Smale in her letter and Dujarric in his briefing room have used unnamed member states' complaints as the basis of Inner City Press being banned. Smale used an old complaint by Morocco, which her own MALU (Marija) told Inner City Press was frivolous. Did she stoke up other missions to complain to her? Watch this site.

 On August 30, spokes-hatchet-man Stephane Dujarric was asked, again, about how and why Inner City Press was roughed up, ousted and banned for life without due process. Dujarric, with a smile, cut the question off and said to review his previous Orwellian answers, adding "The issue is settled as far as we're concerned." Like the way Guterres golden statue gifter Paul Biya is "settling the issue" in the Anglophone zones, pure force and cover up? Dujarric also called it "asked and answered." What, like the UN's failures in protecting civilians, in raping children, spreading cholera, selling out the Anglophones to Cameroon for a favor in the Budget Committeee? This is disgusting. Video here. Dujarric moved on with a "Mademoiselle," a question about the UNGA week which Guterres and Dujarric have worked - and lied - to ban Inner City Press from. On August 29, Guterres' spokes-hatchet-man Stephane Dujarric was asked, again, about the lack of due process and specifically about Guterres now banning a journalist who has covered the UN General Assembly high level week for a decade. Video here; from the UN transcript: Question: two questions related to the status of Matthew Lee.  The first is whether any consideration is being given to at least giving him temporary access to the UN Headquarters during the General Assembly week and, secondly, just if you would respond to his repeated claims that he was not accorded due process before being banned from the, from the premises.

Spokesman:  The process through which accreditation is given and withdrawal is clear, it’s written publicly in the media guidelines.  You all agree to the process when you accept your accreditation, which accreditation to any institution is a privilege.  Everybody has a right to, to report and to say whatever they, they wish.  But the accreditation process is such.  It’s very clear.  Really?

September 10, 2018

On Cameroon Inner City Press FOIAs US DOD For Report and All Records on Anglophone Areas

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFTracker

UNITED NATIONS GATE, September 7 -- As the Cameroon government of 36 year President Paul Biya slaughters civilians in the Anglophone regions as well as in the North, it re-engaged Washington lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs and Mercury Public Affairs, documents show. The UN belatedly acknowledged to Inner City Press, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had roughed up on July 3 right after it spoke to Cameroon's Ambassador Tommo Monthe and on August 17 declared banned for life from entering the UNthat Guterres met with a Cameroon delegation on July 11. And they discussed, disturbingly, strategies to reduce negative coverage of Biya's killings, see below. Now after being informed that the UN is saying the US or at least its US Mission to the UN under Nikki Haley and/or her Deputy Jonathan Cohen and spokesman John Degory are supporting and even have requested Inner City Press' banning from the UN and UN General Assembly high level week featuring Donald Trump, Inner City Press on September 7 files its second Freedom of Information Act request: "On behalf of Inner City Press and in my personal capacity as its United Nations bureau chief, Matthew Russell Lee, this is a request pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 for the following information: 1) most pressingly, for the report on human rights abuse by the Cameroon military and of the US' knowledge thereof, on information and belief headed by Brig. Gen. Timothy McAteer and concluded in November 2017; 2) any and all other records in your possession concerning abuses by the Cameroon security forces, including but not limited to in the North-West and South-West regions, from January 1, 2017 to the date of your response to this request.

This request, particularly (1) above which can and should be treated separately, should be afforded expedited treatment. Inner City Press is reporting on abuses in Cameroon, including with the knowledge of the US - and why there has been no UN Security Council meeting on Cameroon. The US is for this month the president of the US Security Council and this request should be fully responded to in that time frame, including any necessary appeal." We'll have more on this.
 Now in Ekona in South-West Region Cameroon's government has engaged in what's become their trademark abuse, the killing at point blank range of civilians, in this case Bezeng Jonas and his sons, one of whom was attending University of Buea. Where are the "positive steps" the UK Mission's Karen Pierce asserted this week to Inner City Press across the street from the UN, from which British USG Alison Smale has banned Inner City Press for 66 days with assists?  Things have reportedly reached the point that in Lebialem Division in the South West region officials have de facto separated the country by instituting an ‘Access Card’ from locals fleeing insecurity in the division. One needs to pay FCFA 20, 000 for the 'Laissez passer' to cross over." After Guterres did nothing, in order to try to get Cameroon's support as chair of UN Budget Committee, and after again refusing Inner City Press' questions on August 31, video here, is now in China which is arming Biya. Now with Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric cutting off question and saying Guterres' ban of Inner City Press is "settled" and that it cannot enter to cover the General Assembly high level week where last year Guterres greeted Paul Biya, Guterres is headed to China September 1-4. And here's from China state media: "In March, Cameroonian President Paul Biya was the first African leader to visit China this year. It was the sixth trip to China by the president. Fruitful deals from FOCAC Beijing summit can significantly revamp the country's economy," Mpoche said. "That is why, I think the Belt and Road Initiative is laudable."
According to the Cartel of Cameroon Entrepreneurs, known in its French acronym as GICAM, close to 100 Cameroonian businessmen will visit China on the sidelines of the Beijing summit, scheduled for early September. The businessmen traveling to China intend to seize the opportunity and sign deals with Chinese private companies to "boost our cooperation and create more jobs for the youths back home," said Magloire, the rapporteur at Cameroon's Ministry of Economy and Finance."  The article makes no mention of Southern Cameroons and Biya's killings - nor, apparently, will Guterres. We'll have more on this.Here are questions Guterres and his spokesman, contrary to the promise of evicter Alison Smale, has left UNanswered: "August 27-6: August 22-3: On Cameroon, your belated July 11 read out does not answer the questions Inner City Press has asked. Before asking more, there are now broken out by letter for ease of reference and for belated answer today, as well as this:

was DSG Mohammed present at the July 11 meeting? And what is the SG's response to what was said about him in the demonstration by Anglophone Cameroonians in Washington yesterday? How does he respond to their charges of corruption?

a) Cameroon has hired Mercury Public Affairs for $100,000 a month, even as the UN is paying money to the government. Is UN money being used for the mass killing cover up campaign? Are there any safeguards in place?

b) please disclose any and all other meeings the SG has had this year arranged by paid lobbyists.

[responded to Aug 22, but see (d) below: c) what is the SG's comment on the recent announcement of seven arrests for summary executions, and the newer video of Cameroon Army executions that has emerged?

d) Specifically, how are these videos being incorporated into the supposed vetting of Cameroon's contributions to UN Peacekeeping missions?

e) please provide a list and read-out of each of the Secretary General's meetings and communications with Cameroon Ambassador Tommo Monthe during Monthe's time as chair of the Fifth (Budget) Committee.

[semi-answered Aug 22 f) In light of statements at the August 8 noon briefing please state whether envoy Fall even requested to meet with President Paul Biya or whether the UN believes that Biya is once again out of the country, in Geneva. Has the UN ever met with Biya in Geneva? ]

g) I reiterate August 7-1 and 8-1 and 9-1, on this: was the SG or anyone else in the UN aware that this Biya delegation's lobbying trip was stage managed by the DC-based lobbying firm Patton Boggs? Why was this meeting not disclosed at the time? Why is there no photo, even just UN Photo, of it? Where did it take place? Who attended, on each side?

h)Has the Secretariat communicated since with the Biya government? Has it ever communicated with the opposition?"
September 3, 2018

UN Guterres Refuses To Answer Why He Bans Inner City Press From UNGA What Done on Cameroon Son's Conflict of Interest

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, CJR Letter PFT, Video

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 31 – Before Inner City Press was roughed up by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' Security on June 22 and July 3, 2018 and under a ban on entry since then, which his spokesman on August 30 called settled or final, it insistently asked about Guterres' conflicts of interest, for example with murderous Cameroon chairing the UN Budget Committee where Guterres sought support or with the business interests of his family, as for disclosure of how many of Guterres' publicly funded trip took him through his real home, Lisbon. (The answer, with no UN help, is at least 14.) The questions are not being answered by Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, and Guterres has had Inner City Press banned from the UN for life, by his Global Communicator Alison Smale who has failed to make even the minimal public financial disclosure called for under Guterres' predecessor Ban Ki-moon. Guterres' forms do not include the business interests of his direct children - but they should, see below.

On August 31, the 59th day Inner City Press has been banned from the UN by Guterres, there was nothing listed on Guterres' schedule until 4:30 pm: grip and grin photo op with the new Ambassadors on Armenia, Costa Rica, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sidhartha Francisco Marin Aráuz of Nicaragua. But at 1:10 pm some of Guterres many guards -- one, Lt Ronald E Dobbins, twice roughed up Inner City Press on June 22 (which Inner City Press wrote to Guterres about on June 25) and more so on July 3 - showed up telling other cars including diplomats' cars where they could and couldn't park on 46th Street. Soon fully three black 4x4s pulled up in front of the restaurant Aretsky's Patroon, which recently hosted Hillary Clinton. Out stepped Guterres and UN President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak, who disclosed a 1:15 pm appointment with Guterres. First (silent) video here.  An hour and a half later, Guterres emerged with his chief of staff Maria Luiza Viotti and with Miguel Graca. Inner City Press asked, calmly but audibly, why Guterres is banning it from entering to cover the General Assembly Week, which is has covered for 11 years, about what he has (not) done on Cameroon and on conflicts of interest related to his son's business links, first reported by Inner City Press. As is the Guterres way, he got into his limosine. Video here. By contrast the President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak listened when Inner City Press asked about access to the GA and seemed... well, we'll see and report.

Guterres, as is typically including on the business dealings of his son, did not even disclose his meeting with Lajcak. Guterres has shown such bias in having Inner City Prss roughed up and banned that Inner City Press has asked Lajcak, and will ask him and hereby his successor again, to take over the case and ensure Inner City Press can cover the upcoming UN General Assembly week. Lajcak's chief of staff says Lajcak is trying; his spokesman says "I discussed your letter with the PGA. Please know that he is personally sympathetic to your situation. He also continues to strongly believe that the UN should be as transparent as possible and that journalists should be able to do their work without hindrance.
At the same time, our practice here at the UN is for the Secretariat – not the Office of the PGA – to handle matters related to media accreditation and security. In that regard, we will continue to defer to the Secretariat in such areas. The PGA appreciates your interest in and coverage of the General Assembly. In that regard, from our side, we will continue to respond to your journalistic questions – whether you are inside or outside UNHQ. I look forward to our continued collaboration during the rest of the 72nd session." We'll have more on this As Inner City Press has now exclusively reported, Guterres' son Pedro Guimarães e Melo De Oliveira Guterres has been Manager of Planning and Control at PT Portugal since 2009, see here. And "PT Portugal has significant interests in telecommunications companies in Angola, Cape Verde, Namibia and São Tomé and Principe in Africa and in Timor-Leste in Asia," see US SEC filing here. (Guterres recently rebuffed, in an entreaty to stop banning Inner City Press, Time Leste's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta, here). Given that his father, as a UN Secretary General who has shown himself willing to stay quiet of the deaths of Anglophone Cameroonians to gain the support of Cameroon's Ambassador as chair of the UN Budget Committee, has and can impact on each of these countries, where are the clearly needed controls against conflict of interest? Inner City Press Periscop stand-up, here. As Guterres flies off for a business confab about Africa and China from September 1 to 4, complete with 100 businesses from Cameroon where Guterres is complicit in the crackdown, how is he recusing himself there and in New York (and Lisbon) from involvement in things impacting where his son's company does business and makes money? We'll have more on this - for now despite the empty promises of Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale who has banned Inner City Press for life without any hearing or appeals process that written questions would be answer, none have been for three days, including on another Inner City Press exclusive noted from on high in UNDP, here.  Inner City Press on August 28 published the first in this exclusive and detailed series. Here from multiple member state sources are the dates of Guterres' 14 -- 30% of total UN trips - through Lisbon for each of which Inner City Press has asked, and not been answered, and live-stream Periscope of the UN's empty massion on 57th Street and Sutton Place for which it was roughed up and banned:

1/13/2017-1/20/2017    NY->Lisbon->Geneva->Davos Platz->Zurich

2/9/2017-2/20/2017            NY->Istanbul->Riyadh->Dubai->Abu Dhabi->Muscat->Doha->Cairo->Frankfurt->Bonn->Munich->Lisbon

2/24/2017-2/27/2017    NY->Lisbon->Geneva

3/25/2017-3/31/2017    NY->Lisbon->Amman->Baghdad->Arbil->Gaziantep

5/9/2017-5/22/2017            NY->London->Beijing->Strasbourg->Geneva->Lisbon

5/25/2017-5/29/2017    NY->Catania->Lisbon

6/20/2017-6/26/2017    NY->Entebbe->Lisbon

6/27/2017-7/4/2017            NY->Washington DC.->Geneva->Lisbon, (30/06/2017 - 04/07/2017 in Lisbon)

11/3/2017-11/7/2017    NY->Lisbon

2/12/2018-2/19/2018    NY->Kuwait->London->Munich->Lisbon

3/14/2018-3/16/2018    NY->Rome->Lisbon

5/11/2018-5/19/2018    NY->Lisbon->Vienna->Brussels->Washington DC

5/23/2018-5/31/2018    NY->Geneva->Lisbon->Paris->Bamako

7/6/2018-7/11/2018        NY->Lisbon->Addis Ababa->Kinshasa

  Do the member states paying for this - whom Guterres' Smale quotes without name as supporting the roughing up of and permanent ban on Inner City Press, agree with this? Do they know this? How arrogant or out of touch a self-styled world leader is has been revealed in the Leader's contemptuous approach to freedom of the press and whose who even gently chide him on it, including a Nobel Peace Prize winner. No, this is not a reference to Donald Trump, but to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The Nobel Peace Prize winner who has sought the reversal of Guterres' outrageous 56 day and counting ban on Inner City Press even entering the UN is Jose Ramos Horta of Timor Leste, still serving Guterres' UN, who told Inner City Press on August 27, "Dear Matthew I did reach the very inner sanctum of the UN system reporting on your case to no avail. Apologies but I don't know what else I can do." Later on August 27 an independent journalist asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric why things are not fixed with Inner City Press' access, since it "looks bad" given other attacks on press freedom. Video here. Dujarric tried to cut the journlist off, insisting to say this is about freedom of the press would be wrong. (Then why is it in the Press Freedom Tracker, here, and the Columbia Journalism Review, among others for example in the UK, Japan, Italy and Cameroon?)August 27, 2018

For UNGA Trump to Hold Drug Event Banned Inner City Press Learns By Not From USUN Notified of Ban Like Pressman

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFTracker

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 24 – A month from day on September 24, US President Trump will host his "big UN event, this time on the world drug situation," a source not with the US Mission told Inner City Press on August 24 as it staked-out the UN Delegates Entrance questioning diplomats as it has for the 52 days it has been banned from the UN - ironically, for its style of questioning. Another source told Inner City Press that the US circulating a draft outcome to the political coordinators all of member states, not just those on the Security Council. This source - ironically a pro-UN source who still leaks to Inner City Press after the UN banned it for life -- exclusively told Inner City Press of "pushback" that is coming. As the afternoon of August 24 progressed, while other information came in, as to the US Mission to the UN across the street there were peripheral developments. As Inner City Press reported on August 23, on the Periscope live-streaming platform which the UN cited in imposing its lifetime ban, the portrait of Mike Pompeo belatedly went up in the lobby of the Mission. On August 24 starting around 3:30 some USUN personnel boarded a chartered bus with coolers and in Jets and Giants (LT 56) jerseys, presumably to got to the Meadowlands in New Jersey and see a pre-season NFL game. Would anyone take a knee? In the bus stop Inner City Press works in it formally notified the two top US Missio spokespeople that its 52 day ban has had no due process and should be reversed at latest by September 5, the deadline for the UNGA week on which Inner City Press is reporting. The same was conveyed, and more, to former USUN Deputy Permanent Representative David Pressman, who to his and their credit bantered with the Mission's security officers. He's with the Clooney Foundation for Justice and the Boies law firm. Inner City Press asked, not joking, want to sue the UN on press freedom (and non assault) grounds? He said it might be a conflict given his previous jobs - though the UN's decision maker or letter signing Alison Smale ignored her own conflicts of interest - but he could, it would seem, find someone. Even a recent mother. For now, we report on Trump's upcoming event. Watch this site. With the UN General Assembly High Level week coming up next month, the UN of anti-Press Secretary General Antonio Guterres is still moving to push further away from the action the visiting media that he and Under Secretary General Alison Smale, in their lawless way, allow in. Now this UN dynamic duo have not surprisingly gotten buy in fro the insiders they give offices to and use to censor others, those who don't need the tent but rather complain about the air conditioning and TV reception in their offices. For years the so-called Media Center has been in Conference Room 1. But this year Guterres and Smale still want to put it even further away -- now in a tent. Typically, they are trying to blame their anti-press policies on member states. But this is the duo which had Inner City Press roughed up by their Security - twice - and banned for 52 days and counting. They are censors, and hypocrites (see Smale's ex NYT myopic hand-wringing, here.)  On August 17 Smale issued a ghoulish no due process ruling purporting to ban Inner City Press for life, which has put the UN into the Press Freedom Tracker. Back Oon August 8, Inner City Press during the noon briefing it is banned from 43 days and counting emailed the spokesperson for President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak: "Hello. Since I am still banned from the UN noon briefing, I am e-mailing you this question during your August 8 briefing: What does the PGA think and do about the moves to push the media even further away from CR 1 during High Level week?" The spokesman Brenden Varma to his credit replied, just after the briefing, "For the President, it is important that journalists are able to do their work and cover the general debate. As for the logistics, that is a matter for the UN Secretariat."

August 20, 2018

On Cameroon Inner City Press Video Guterres' Smale Calls Derogatory for Lifetime Ban Remonetized by YouTube

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter The Hill

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 19 -- As the Cameroon government of 36 year President Paul Biya slaughters civilians in the Anglophone regions as well as in the North, it re-engaged Washington lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs, documents show. The UN belatedly acknowledged to Inner City Press, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had roughed up on July 3 right after it spoke to Cameroon's Ambassador Tommo Monthe and on August 17 declared banned for life from entering the UNthat Guterres met with a Cameroon delegation on July 11. And they discussed, disturbingly, strategies to reduce negative coverage of Biya's killings, see below.

   Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale's August 17 letter banning Inner City Press, on which she took 45 days to try to phrase censorship in terms of "professionalism," states that Inner City Press' questioning broadcasts on Periscope, for then 45 days at the gate outside the UN, are derogatory and even somehow dangerous. Dangerous to the cover up of Biya's killings, perhaps, and those who play a role in it. Relatedly, Google's YouTube de-monetized Inner City Press' video of questioning Guterres' Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq about Cameroon's lobbying contracts, saying the video was not appropriate for all advertisers. While that YouTube phrasing, even if accurate, would not justify a ban on Inner City Press, it is significant that after Inner City Press submitted to YouTube an appeal -- something Guterres' Kafkaesque UN does not allow for journalists -- the demonetization has been reversed: "Hi Inner City Press, Great news! After manually reviewing your video, we’ve determined that it is suitable for all advertisers:
"Cameroon Leak Showed UN Guterres Offered Biya Help In Combating Bad Press He Banned No Answers"
Thanks, The YouTube team."
  So the coverage that UK national Alison Smale unilaterally asserts is so derogatory and dangerous as to be part of her Orwellian justification of a lifetime ban of Inner City Press is found by a party not named, as Smale is, in the video to be "suitable for all adversers." You can see it here. -- it already has 2000 views, more that the entire audience of some of those "professional" correspondents to whom Guterres and Smale give UN offices and full access. Alison Smale, and Guterres, are censors pure and simple, particularly on Guterres' shameful role in Cameroon. In a single sentence, Guterres stayed quiet on and helped cover up Paul Biya's killings of Anglophones in Cameroon because Guterres wanted the bureaucratic support of Cameroon's Ambassador Tommo Monthe, the chair of the UN Budget Committee, for his proposal some of which didn't even get enacted. Shameful, as is the lifetime ban. We'll have more, much more, on this.
The Cameroon government's write up of the meeting obtained by Inner City Press, on which the UN has repeatedly refused to respond,
quotes Guterres that the ("Anglo-Saxon") media is unfair to Paul Biya's Cameroun and that he, Guterres, will help them in the "propaganda campaign." Guterres said he "will contact reasonable people" and "counter the daily press briefs."
August 13, 2018

On Cameroon Dutch and HRW Overplay UK Pres Vague Line on Violence As Guterres Bans Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, 30/7 CJR, 19/6 Video, Filing

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 10 – As the Cameroon government of 36 year President Paul Biya slaughters civilians in the Anglophone regions as well as in the North, it has re-engaged Washington lobbying firm Patton Boggs, on a retainer of $100,000 per quarter plus expenses, documents show. Now on August 10, with Inner City Press banned from entering the UN for the 38th day by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Dutch Mission to the UN and HRW started bragging about a UN Security Council Presidential Statement which they said embodied deep concern. At first banned Inner City Press, thanks to Guterres who took Biya's golden statue in October 2017, couldn't even see the Statement: it was not on the Security Council's website now run by the (Dutch) husband of the chief of staff of the UN Department of Political Affairs' Rosemary DiCarlo, and was not emailed out to those not (allowed) in the UN. But by mid afternoon it came out: and it was just a single line, about the "worrying increase in violence in the north-west and south-west regions of Cameroon." Why did Human Rights Watch make so much of this, after earlier this year telling Inner City Press - before Antonio "Golden Statue" Guterres banned it from the UN - that HRW omitted Cameroon from its 2018 World Report because it didn't view it as a top-90 problem? That's here. As Guterres and his Alison Smale and their stooges try to keep Inner City Press out even longer, we'll have more on this. After twice asking the Spokespeople for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres (from the bus stop outside the UN Delegates' Entrance since Guterres has banned Inner City Press since July 3), UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq on August 8 belatedly told Inner City Press, "On your first question, we can confirm that, on 11 July, a high-level Cameroonian delegation was dispatched to UNHQ to brief the Secretary-General on the efforts carried out by the Government to address the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions. The Secretary-General stressed the importance of finding a peaceful resolution to the crisis through an inclusive dialogue and reiterated the UN’s readiness to support such efforts, including the provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected regions." But Inner City Press' question was, "On Cameroon beyond the questions you have left unanswered from August 3 and August 6-1, please state if anyone in the UN Secretariat met with a Cameroonian government delegation in the US from July 11 (whcn they met UK Ambassador Pierce) to July 20 and if the UN was aware that this Biya delegation's lobbying trip was stage managed by the DC-based lobbying firm Patton Boggs." No answer on this, nor on August 10, when Guterres' Deputy Spokesman Haq answered a past question from August 6, on using and paying for Biya's troops: "Regarding your earlier Cameroon question, here’s what we have for you: "August 6-1: On Cameroon, important and not answered - please immediately confirm and explain: “A 295-strong Cameroonian contingent including four doctors, will be deployed in the intervening weeks to the Central African Republic (CAR).They will be part of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Mission for the Stabilization of CAR (MINUSCA), ministry of Defense sources in Cameroon disclosed on Thursday.” Given not only this military's torching of villages in the Anglophone areas but summary executions, why is the UN accepting this deployment at this time? How much of the money goes to / stays with the Biya government? What vetting has been done? Does the UN know the identity of the Cameroon soldiers recently shown killing women and children? What assurance does the UN have these soldiers will not “serve” the UN in CAR?"

The 295-strong Cameroonian contingent referred into in the article is not a new deployment. It is in fact a rotation of two Cameroonian Formed Police Units (FPUs) already deployed in MINUSCA.

In this specific case, the two Cameroonian FPUs will finish their tour of duty by mid-September, will substitute them. As per established procedures, all FPU personnel undergo extensive pre-deployment training to ensure they understand the rules, regulations and, standards and values expected of personnel deployed to UN operations, including respect for human rights.

With regard to the vetting process, the Policy on Human Rights Screening of United Nations Personnel places primary responsibility on Member States to ensure that the personnel they appoint for deployment have not been involved in violations. All countries contributing uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping operations have primary responsibility for screening individuals and for ensuring that personnel they nominate for service have not been involved, by act or omission, in violations of international humanitarian law or human rights law, and have not been repatriated on disciplinary grounds from a UN operation. Contributing countries have to provide a certification to that effect when they nominate personnel for deployment.

The Policy thus sets forth procedures to strengthen the ability of the United Nations to ensure that its personnel meet the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, and to promote and encourage respect for human rights, in accordance with the United Nations Charter. These procedures have notably led to strengthen pre-deployment screening and certification by contributing countries.

On your question regarding payment, countries contributing uniformed personnel to peacekeeping operations are reimbursed by the UN at a standard rate, approved by the General Assembly, of US$1,428 per person per month."

After Guterres remained disturbingly quiet about Biya's killing for a full year, when Cameroon was the chair of the Budget Committee whose support Guterres wanted for his proposal like moving jobs from Geneva to Budapest, New York to Mexico City, Entebbe to Kenya? We'll have more on this.


August 6, 2018

To Replace Zeid UN Guterres Who Bans Press Eyes 4 Latins from Mexico Colombia Argentina and Guatemala

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 3 – In choosing a replacement for Prince Zeid as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Secretary General Antonio Guterres has typically under-performed, being so slow that who ever is chosen will have a nearly unprecedentedly short time to prepare. Now on August 3 Inner City Press' sources tell it of a short list of four: Pablo de Greiff of Colombia, Jorge Castañeda of Mexico, Claudia Paz y Paz of Guatemala and Argentinian judge Silvia Fernandez. If the decision is not made soon by Guterres, who has been on vacation location UNdisclosed since July 20 when he refused to answer Inner City Press why he had banned it (and had its reporter roughed up), then Guterres may name as Acting High Commissioner the current Deputy High Commissioner Kate Gilmore, from Australia like Guterres head of Security Peter Drennan. Gilmore has not been supportive of whistleblowers. She apparently continues to defend Rupert Colville and his egregious statements about Anders Kompass and others, with complete impunity (as, so far, Guterres Drennan and Alison Smale have enjoyed for having Inner City Press roughed up, ousted and now banned for 31 days and counting with no end in sight, Fox News story here, GAP blogs I and II, Independent here - on August 3 while Inner City Press was reporting-out this story on Human Rights Commish short list, it was told by a free press group (not CPJ) that Guterres Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told it Inner City Press will be told “in the coming days” if it's banned forever from UN for being roughed up covering UN Budget). How can a man who has ousted and banned a critical journalist for a Kafkaesque investigation by the one choosing a High Commissioner for Human Rights? Or deciding on bans for journalists who scrutinize and question him? Overall, the sources say, Bachelet and they say Bokova are out of the running. Traditionally the P5 UK, US and France play an important role in the selection of High Commissioner for Human Rights. But the UK is entirely focused on Brexit and the US is apparently disengaged, in part because of its withdrawal from the HRC and mooted funding cuts to OHCHR. The sources ay neither France nor the EU has a candidate. Nor have they done anything about Guterres' censorship of the Press at the UN. Today's UN system's attacks on whistleblowers extend from New York where Secretary General Antonio Guterres' armed Security officials ousted the Press on June 22 (video, new petition, Q&A) to Geneva where outgoing Human Rights Commissioner Zeid's Deputy Kate Gilmore and spokesman Rupert Colville deploy "hard talk" (and worse) against whistleblowers.

   Today in Geneva Deputy UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore - in typical UN fashion, a good friend of Zeid's wife princess Sarah - who Amnesty International decided it was worth paying to leave a few years back because she was so toxic to the organization) had what she terms a “hard talk.” Whistleblower Emma Reilly, of whose case Inner City Press has repeatedly asked the UN, posed the first question. Reilly noted that the UN's Central African Republic panel  found that Zeid went after whistleblowers with a “single minded determination,” and said that her own experience confirmed this. She referred to emails sent by the OHCHR Spokesperson Rupert Colville to journalists that referred to  CAR whistleblowers Anders Kompass and Miranda Brown as “dishonest... disgusting... underhanded” and the “sh*ttiest” individuals he had encountered in a 30-year career, and even accused Anders Kompass - Sweden’s ambassador to Guatemala - as being “in the pay of the French.” Reilly noted that journalists reported to her that Colville regularly resorted to personal insults and questioned her sanity when “asked about OHCHR handing over names to the Chinese.”

  Reilly then asked if Gilmore agreed with the UN position that these emails, sent from a UN spokesman’s account during UN working hours in response to a request for comment from the UN, were personal. If so, she asked if the UN would lift immunity to allow her to sue the spokesperson in national courts.

   Gilmore avoided the question. We'll have more on this - and on Guterres' lead spokesman, who has moved beyond insults and exclusion of Inner City Press to bringing about physical ouster by armed UN Security officers who refused to give their names, and running off the podium as Inner City Press asks about it.  On June 29 after publishing the above, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I have a Human Rights Commissioner question.

Spokesman:  Go ahead.

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you.  There was a Q and A by Kate Gilmore, the Deputy High Commissioner of Human Rights, today in Geneva, and an issue arose in which… several whistle-blowers raised the fact that they have evidence, they say, that the spokesperson for, for Prince Zeid, Rupert Colville, has, from, on his UN computer during UN time, said that the whistle-blowers are the worst people he’s ever known, used a profanity.  And so they wanted to know, since it’s, it’s their understanding that this was then said in a personal capacity by the spokesman, not as a UN statement, whether the UN will, in fact, waive immunity so that they can take some kind of a legal action?  They’re very troubled that the spokesperson…

Spokesman:  I… I didn’t see the Q and A.  What I do know is that Mr. Colville does an outstanding, an outstanding job in promoting and defending human rights.

Inner City Press: Would you say it’s consistent with the whistle-blower protections…?

Spokesman:  I’m not going to, I’m not going to talk about things that I don’t know, most of the time." Really. The UN took most of its counter-terrorism money from Saudi Arabia, just as Secretary General Antonio Guterres smiled and took a $930 million check from Saudi's Crown Prince and said nothing about Saudi bombing of Yemen, and now assault on the port of Hodeidah there. On June 18 the UN in New York held a so-called background briefing for only some of the media which cover the UN day to day.  On June 19 Inner City Press asked the Office of the Spokesperson, the briefer and the UN's Global Communicator why, with no answer yet in 48 hours. Instead the response has been frivolous complaints about Inner City Press non- or anti-spoonfed coverage. And on June 22, Guterres' UN Security ousted Inner City Press from the UN without even its laptop, during an event at which Guterres gave a bragging speech.
Video here, story here, new petition here.July 30, 2018

On Cameroon Inner City Press Asked UN's Zeid Before Being Banned Now A Belated Statement With Guterres Silent

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video Petition 7/11 Status, 7/20

UNITED NATIONS, July 25 – After the abuses by Cameroon's security forces have been ignored by the UN, as Inner City Press has repeatedly asked about them until being banned from the UN on July 3 and since, new leaked videos show summary executions and manhandling of prisoners. On July 23 Inner City Press raised the issue, and that of the UN's censorship
 to the Italian Mission to the UN, which split its UN Security Council term with the Netherlands and last year told Inner City Press that Paul Biya's abuses in the  Anglophone areas hadn't come up on the Council trip to Cameroon that it accompanied. Nothing, from Italy and from the Security Council as a whole, not even an "Any Other Business" briefing (Inner City Press has, even while banned from the UN by Secretary General Antonio Guterres who took Biya's golden statue, asked a number of non-Security Council UN member states for their position on convening a meeting in the General Assembly as has been done regarding other countries; watch this space). Now on July 25 from Geneva outgoing Human Rights Commissioner Prince Zeid, who like his spokesman has said almost nothing about Biya's killings for the past year despite written and in person questions from Inner City Press before the ban, has issued this: "UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Wednesday expressed deep alarm at persistent reports of human rights violations and abuses in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, as well as in the Extreme North. The High Commissioner said it was regrettable that the Government of Cameroon had failed to grant the UN Human Rights Office access to the Northwest and Southwest despite repeated requests. “Given the seriousness of the reports of violence against Cameroonians in the western part of the country, we have asked for access to be able to verify allegations made against both security forces and armed elements,” High Commissioner Zeid said. “We will now need to explore other options, including remote monitoring.” What began as protests in October 2016 in the Northwest and Southwest regions against structural discrimination escalated into violence in 2017, and the situation has worsened considerably since then. There are reports that armed elements have carried out kidnappings, targeted killings of police and local authorities, extortion and have torched schools. There are also reports that Government forces are responsible for killings, the excessive use of force, burning down of houses, arbitrary detentions and torture. UN figures indicate that more than 21,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, while 160,000 have been internally displaced by the violence, many reportedly hiding in forests. “To prevent the situation from deteriorating further, I urge the Government to launch independent investigations into the reports of human rights violations by State security forces as well as abuses by armed elements,” Zeid said. “I condemn the attacks by Cameroonian armed elements, including the ambush on 13 July near the town of Kumba in the Southwest region on a Minister of Defence convoy. But the heavy-handed security response that the Government appears to have employed since October last year will only make matters worse for the women, children and men caught in the middle.” The High Commissioner also said he was “utterly appalled” by a horrific video reportedly showing members of the armed forces executing a woman, a child and a baby accused of being members of Boko Haram. “The Government of Cameroon has an obligation to investigate this atrocious crime urgently. I am deeply worried that these killings captured on camera may not be isolated cases,” he said." We'll have more on this, and Guterres' negligent delay in and moral disqualification from belatedly choosing Zeid's successor. As to Italy Inner City Press sent a formal request to the Italian spokesperson who told it that, Giovanni Davoli, and elsewhere including the Mission's official email address in UN Protocol's Blue Book, info.italyun [at] ester.it, as well as press.italyun [at] esteri.it: "Hello - This is a request for your Italian Mission's and Ambassador comment on the human rights abuses by the Cameroon army and security forces, not only in the Anglophone areas (which I have been asking about in the UN since early 2017) but now also in the north, video linked to in Inner City Press here, as verified by Amnesty International, here. Since the UN Security Council has not even taken up the issue in an Any Other Business briefing, with blockage by former colonial powers France and the UK, which recently bragged of a UK firm's natural gas deal with the Cameroonian government, this is also to know whether your Mission - which is still technically on the Security Council but not much seen, even before Inner City Press was banned since July 3 for covering the UN Budget -- would support General Assembly action on these Cameroon and regional issues, under Uniting for Peace or otherwise.

I am asking these questions in writing now because I have been banned since July 3 from entering the UN and could not ask them inside the UN building.

This notifies your Mission that I have been banned from the UN since at latest July 5, with no due process. See, The Independent (UK), July 12, 2018, “UN 'roughs up and bans' investigative reporter long considered thorn in side of world body officials, Mr Lee has written about UN in connection to Haiti, Burundi, Sri Lanka and other nations."
July 23, 2018

Cameroon Not Seen By Human Rights Watch As Top 90 Problem But Now Spun For Money with UN Censorship Alliance

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 – As the crackdown in Cameroon by 36-year government of Paul Biya has grown worse and worse in 2017 and 2018 and Inner City Press has repeatedly asked why UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres only took a golden statue from Biya in October 2017, Guterres' UN itself has cracked down, now having banned Inner City Press from entering the UN for 15 days and counting. Fox News story here, GAP blogs I and II. Back on 6 March 2018 before Guterres' UN Security had roughed it up and banned it, Inner City Press asked Human Rights Watch official Jo Becker why the slaugher in Cameroon was not even listed at a Top-90 problem in HRW's  2018 "World" report.

Becker told Inner City Press 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.  On July 19, with the UN Censorship Alliance, HRW belatedly and apparently to try to raise funds off a crisis it had ignored and enabled held a briefing that was truly disgusting. The first question was given to a Reuters reporter who has repeatedly cut off Press questions about Cameroon. Next was UN Censorship Alliance figure head saying why not defer to the AU, which took a golden statue. Then a Reuters retiree; then a UN staffer doubling as a UN resident correspondent. It was truly disgusting. We'll have more on this.


  Now on July 19, with Inner City Press banned from the UN and, UNlike for example the Government Accountability Project, HRW at best doing nothing about this banning of the Press despite a series of e-mails to its Ken Roth, Sarah Whitsos and Akshaya Kumar, HRW has told some it will present with the UN Censorship Alliance the following, complete with moral equivalence:

"Human Rights Watch will release “‘These Killings Can Be Stopped’: Abuses by Government and Separatist Groups in Cameroon’s Anglophone Regions,” a report based on an April 2018 mission to the country. Researchers conducted 82 interviews with victims and witnesses of abuses and key informants. Human Rights Watch analyzed satellite images showing recent
burning in 20 villages and verified half a dozen videos showing abuses or their aftermath.
Since late 2016, activists from Cameroon’s Anglophone minority have been calling for their region’s independence. Violent repression of mostly peaceful demonstrations by government forces in 2016 and 2017 has led to an escalation of the conflict. Anglophone separatists have extorted, kidnapped, and killed civilians, and prevented children from going to school." The briefers are listed as Jonathan Pedneault, Mausi Segun, and the aforementioned Akshaya Kumar, Deputy UN Director, Human Rights Watch. We'll have more on this - and on the role of another HRW official Louis Charbonneau in having lobbied Guterres' spokesman to get Inner City Press ousted from the UN, using his link with this UN Censorship Alliance, then getting Google to remove his leaked lobbying from Search as allegedly copyrighted under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. See Lou Charbonneau's DMCA filing, here. This is shameful.

 Back on March 6, to make sure its 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.
July 16, 2018

On Cameroon Inner City Press Asks UNSC Members About Videos of Abuses and UN Ban, Sweden 1st Reply

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Petition, 7/11 Status

UNITED NATIONS, July 14 – After the abuses by Cameroon's security forces have been ignored by the UN, as Inner City Press has repeatedly asked about them until being banned from the UN on July 3 and since, new leaked videos show summary executions and manhandling of prisoners. Inner City Press has asked a number of UN Security Council about these abuses and will be reporting on responses. On Saturday July 14, after Inner City Press' e-mail inquiry to Swedish Mission personnel including Permanent Representativee Olof B. Skoog and his deputy Carlo Skau, the Mission's spokesperson Lisa Laskaridis proactively replied, "Thank you for your email and concern. We continue to follow the situation in Cameroon very closely, and we are in touch with the U.N. and other partners. We have stressed the importance of national dialogue and the need for the U.N. to have access. I will also contact Ms. Smale" - Alison Smale, the Under Secretary General for Global Communications who has declined to answer Inner City Press' seven e-mails since September 2017 and 5000+ signature petition. We'll have more on this.  As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres prepared to hold on July 12 his first press conference in UN Headquarters since January, he so much wanted to avoid questions on his failings like that in Cameroon that he had his UN Security rough up and oust Inner City Press and his bureaucracy ban it from the building.  There was, as picked by Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric (who told The Independent the idea that Inner City Press has been targeted is "ridiculous"), no question about Cameroon. And still no answer to Inner City Press' written question - on the morning of July 11, Inner City Press asked three Guterres spokespeople, his deputy, his chief of staff and his British head of Communications Alison Smale questions including "There is a widely shared video of Cameroonian troops summarily executing civilians, including women and infants. What is Antonio Guterres' response to this?" While providing a cursory answer to a question Inner City Press submitted about the killing of civilians in Haiti - essentially a reference to another organization's position - these six UN officials did not even acknowledge the Cameroon question. And that remains true two days later, so Inner City Press on July 13 asked again: "Two full days ago I asked your Office about the video of Cameroon soldiers executing women and infants. You have still not answered. Now that Amnesty International has verified the video, what has the UN done about it? What will the UN do? Relatedly, what is the UN's comment on “Cameroon's President Paul Biya has announced that he will be a candidate in the 7 October presidential election that would, if he wins, extend his 35-year-rule. Biya tweeted 'I am willing to respond positively to your overwhelming calls. I will stand as your candidate in the upcoming presidential election'" Inner City Press asked other questions, including about its being banned, that Haq has still not answered. On Cameroon, he returned with this pablum: "On Cameroon, we can say the following now: We are aware of the video circulating on social media and welcome the announcement by the Government of Cameroon to open an investigation into the matter. We urge the Government to swiftly and transparently conduct the announced investigation." Wait - UN Security's self-investigation of physically assaulting and ousting Inner City Press from covering the UN Budget Committee meeting on Guterres' proposals is neither swift - it's been ten days, a single sham interview - nor transparent. Inner City Press asked, without answer: "who is responsible for deciding, between 10 pm July 3 when I was assaulted by UN DSS Lt Dobbins and another UNnamed, and 10 am on July 5, that I was and am banned from entering the UN? Who participated in this decision? Your office yesterday told The Independent (UK) that “a review ha[s] been launched into the manner in which Mr Lee had been removed and his future accreditation.” How my accreditation should suffer for having been assaulted by Lt Dobbins and unnamed colleagues, for the second time in 11 days, is a mystery or worse. But please state how it is possible for DSS to investigate itself in this matter. What provisions does the UN have when abuse BY UN Security officers is alleged, and how does it impact for example their New York and other gun permits?" We'll have more on all of this. Guterres lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who will again be hand picking the questions and questioners present at noon on July 12, told another reporter on July 11 that Inner City Press' “status is being reviewed.  My understanding is that he will be having discussions with various parts of this administration, and then we'll keep you updated, and I'm sure he will keep you updated. His credentials and pass have been suspended, pending review." Video here. This is all based on Inner City Press having been unjustly, and increasingly violently, ousted from the UN on June 22 (during a Guterres speech bragging about Mali) and July 3, during consideration of Guterres' budget and reforms, with mixed results. Amnesty International (which recently under counted Anglophone deaths in Cameroon, blocked the Press which asked and has done nothing, despite requests, about the ban) has verified the videoJuly 9, 2018

UN Guterres Snubbed #MeToo Club in Vienna and Beagle and Haq Ignore Since While Banning Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, July 8 – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on May 14 in Vienna told UN staff that sexual exploitation and abuse is not relevant, only sexual harassment is. This was in a closed-door Town Hall meeting on which Inner City Press exclusively reported, including Guterres refusal then and since to answer to request by staff member Monica Garcia Montes to establish a #MeToo club at the UN in Vienna. Since then, under Guterres Inner City Press has been ousted and now banned from the UN, for covering his budget and reform / job moving proposals. Fox News story here, GAP blogs I and II.

Now, while covering the UN from the park in front of it, Inner City Press has obtained a series of e-mails regarding the #MeToo club proposal Guterres has blocked, some copied to Guterres' spokespeople including Farhan Haq. Sample e-mails exclusively put online via Patreon here. They include such outrageous reasons for opposing as "Mr Zabaar said the Metoo Movement is in conflict with the UN code of conduct" and "Ms Kuleshnyk compared the name of the Club with an hypothetical Club named Osama Bin Laden." A cover letter recites that " Mr Guterres had a staff meeting in the VIC on May 14, 2018, and Monica publicly asked him for his support in a question. Mr Guterres reserved his reply. This was documented here. Immediately after the meeting Monica contacted Mr Bridi's team and Mrs Menendez replied to her and subsequently called her and had a long conversation with her. The conclusion of this conversation is that Monica should contact Mrs Beagle. Monica contacted Mrs Beagle, but Mrs Beagle didn't contact Monica (her secretary called but nothing else happened). On June 25 Monica sent an e-mail to Mrs Menendez urging her to provide her with the reply of Mr Guterres on her initial question about him supporting the creation of the club. She has received no reply to this date. As a matter of fact, apart from the phone call from Mrs Menendez in May, and as you can see in the e-mails copied below, highly placed persons in the office of Mr Guterres have been systematically copied, so that they are informed of the progress. However never once did Monica receive any kind of reply or contact from any of them ever since." This is Guterres' UN. We'll have more on this - and on censorship which has been raised to Guterres, his deputy Amina J. Mohammed, his chief of staff Viotti and Communicator Alison Smale, here. Earlier Inner City Press asked the UN to explain Guterres' statement, below - and then was informed by sources in Vienna that the #MeTooUN problem there is wider than heretofor reported. An abrupt resignation at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, of Tero Varjoranta, was by some like Reuters linked to Trump's pull out from the Iran JPCOA deal. But Inner City Press is exclusively informed it is more tied to an incident witnessed by many, and inquired into by press pursuing the impunity in the UN system for sexual harassament and abuse.July 2, 2018

In Cameroon Macron Envoy Lemoyne Unfurls French Banner in Anglophone Buea With Soldiers

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, II, Q&A, 25/6

UNITED NATIONS, June 30 – Amid the worsening crackdown by the army of 36-year Cameroon president Paul Biya in the country's Anglophone areas (June 12 UK comment below), in April a video circulated depicting soldiers burning down homes. Click here for one upload of it. Noted by many residents and activists: blue helmet of the type used by UN peacekeepers. Back on April 30 Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the video, the day after publishing a story about it, in Google News. April 30 Q&A video here; transcript below. When French Minister Jean Baptiste Lemoyne visited Anglophone South-West Cameroon this week, amazingly he appeared in front of a banner welcoming him... entirely in French, here. His visit was opposed, and there was a heavy military presence. Some claimed Macron meant the end of FrancAfrique but this is a new low. Lemoyne took a golden statue, just like UNSG Antonio Guterres. We'll have more on this. On June 27, Inner City Press asked Guterres' Children and Armed Conflict envoy Virginia Gamba why Cameroon is not listed in her new report. Video here. She said her Office has no presence on the ground in Cameroon, try of so many of the UN's observational bodies. Why not? On June 25, the business day after Guterres' Security ousted Inner City Press using Emergency Response Unit guards equipped with automatic weapons, video here, story here, new petition here) Inner City Press managed to ask Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about BBC authenticating the blue helmet and other images, here.June 25, 2018

At UN 5 Guards Eject Inner City Press As It Covers Guterres Talk, Noting His Inaction on Corruption and Cameroon

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope video

UNITED NATIONS, June 22 – Five UN Security officers, most with automatic weapons, pushed Inner City Press' reporter out of the UN on June 22 as it was filming and preparing to write about Secretary General Antonio Guterres' claims about his visit to Mali, where he didn't even inquire into a recent case child rape by a UN Peacekeeper. With the event still ongoing, Inner City Press was approached by UN Lieutenant Dobbins and told that since it was just past 7 pm it had to leave the building.

 That is not the rule, nor the practice; in any event, the Guterres Eid al -Fitr event listed in the UN Department of Public Information was still ongoing, making it unquestionable that Inner City Press had a right to be in the UN and cover it.

   But even as Inner City Press dialed DPI's Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, getting only voice mail, Dobbins made a call and UN “Emergency Response Unit” officers arrived, with barely concealed automatic weapons. One of them repeatedly pushed Inner City Press' reporter in the back, forcing him through the General Assembly lobby toward the exit. Periscope video here.

   UN Under Secretary General Catherine Pollard was told the ouster and did nothing, as was a Moroccan diplomat. The heavily armed UN Security officers refused to give their names when asked. Lieutenant Dobbins, with no name plate on his uniform, refused to spell his name. He said, I have my orders. From who - Guterres? His Deputy SG or chief of staff, both of whom were at the event? DSS chief Drennan? DPI chief Alison Smale?

    Inner City Press repeatedly asked to be able to get its laptop computer, which was upstairs - there was no way to have known it would be ousted during Guterres' event.

  But Dobbins and the others refused, as did the UN Security officers at the gate. Inner City Press remained there, with dwindling cell phone battery, raising the issue online to Smale, under whose watch Inner City Press has remained in the non-resident correspondent status it was reduced to for pursuing the Ng Lp Seng UN bribery case into the UN press briefing room where Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric ordered it out, then had it evicted. A DPI representative, whom Inner City Press asked to call Smale, was unable or unwilling to even let Inner City Press go in escorted to get its laptop.

   Just in the past week, when Inner City Press complained of Dujarric providing only to Al Jazeera the response of Antonio Guterres to the US leaving the UN Human Rights Council, Dujarric and the Al Jazeera trio claimed to MALU that the coverage was “too aggressive.” Journalism is not a crime? Next week, Antonio Guterres is set to give remarks, to which Inner City Press has requested the right to cover response, to the UN Correspondents Association, which not only has not acted on this censorship, but has fueled it.

  Inside the UN the Eid event continued, alongside a liquor fueled barbeque thrown by UN Security. This DSS sold tickets to non resident correspondents, and allowed in people who had nothing to do with the UN, including some seeming underage. When Inner City Press audibly raised the issue to UN Safety and Security Service chief Mick Brown, he did nothing.

   The Moroccan diplomat emerged and chided Inner City Press for even telling him of the ouster, claiming that “25% of what you write is about Morocco.” Pakistan's Permanent Representative, who hosted the Eid event, said she would look into it. Sweden's spokesperson asked whom to call in DPI and when Inner City Press said, Alison Smale, responded, Who is Alison Smale? Indeed.

  Smale has refused to respond in any way, in the eight months she has been Guterres' “Global Communications” chief, to a 5000 signature petition to restore Inner City Press to its unused office S-303 and to adopt content neutral media access rules going forward. That, and appropriate action on Lt. Dobbins and the others, must be among the next steps. Watch this site.

June 18, 2018

On Cameroon Inner City Press Asked of UN DSS Staff in Buea and UN Says UNaware of Reports

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, II, Q&A

UNITED NATIONS, June 14 – Amid the worsening crackdown by the army of 36-year Cameroon president Paul Biya in the country's Anglophone areas (June 12 UK comment below), in April a video circulated depicting soldiers burning down homes. Click here for one upload of it. Noted by many residents and activists: blue helmet of the type used by UN peacekeepers. On April 30 Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the video, the day after publishing a story about it, in Google News. April 30 Q&A video here; transcript below. On June 13, Inner City Press asked Dujarric, Video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask you about Cameroon.  I was just listening to what Mr. Fall said and I just wonder, it seemed... on Monday, a report was put out by Amnesty International detailing in some detail first-hand accounts of torture, burning of villages, murder of suspects.  So, I just… one, can he do a stakeout?  Is he… if he's the Secretary-General's envoy on the region…?  Number two… and I say it because…

Spokesman:  We can ask.  As you know, he hasn't been to… in Cameroon in some time, but we'll ask.

Inner City Press:  Right.  Other Council members praised his engagement.  I wanted to ask you that.  There's no engagement that you haven't announced from here?

Spokesman:  Not that I'm aware of.  I'm not hiding any engagement.

Inner City Press:  Right.  So, I mean, is the Secretary-General satisfied with not necessarily the performance of Mr. Fall, but with the engagement of the Government, given an Amnesty International report detailing the torching of villages…?

Spokesman:  I think we have expressed and we'll continue to express our concern about the developments in the area.

Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask… you may not know, but photos have come out of UNDSS [United Nations Department of Safety and Security] personnel in Buea, which is a town in Anglophone Cameroon, quite a few of them.  And… and I'm… so people don't know what they're doing there.  This goes back to the… sort of distrust from the Blue Helmet at one of the torching sites.  Is there some way you can find out… if there's some… is there some engagement taking place?

Spokesman:  I'll find out." A full day later, nothing. Dujarric was spotted watching the World Cup in the UN Delegates Lounge bar, bt he did not do the UN's June 14 briefing. So Inner City Press asked his deputy Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: Dujarric] yesterday had said… I'd asked him a pretty… pretty straightforward questions, that there… there are photos circulating.  Many people in Anglophone Cameroon are concerned about it, of several… a team of UNDSS [Department of Safety and Security] personnel in Buea at the Mountain Hotel in blue t-shirts.  What is the purpose of that deployment?

Deputy Spokesman:  Regarding that, we've asked our colleagues in the Department of Safety and Security.  They're actually unaware of what these reports are, but they are following up." How?


June 11, 2018

On Cameroon UK Told Inner City Press Monitoring But Brags Of New Age Oil Deal

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, II

UNITED NATIONS, June 8 – Amid the worsening crackdown by the army of 36-year Cameroon president Paul Biya in the country's Anglophone areas, in April a video circulated depicting soldiers burning down homes. Click here for one upload of it. Noted by many residents and activists: blue helmet of the type used by UN peacekeepers. On April 30 Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the video, the day after publishing a story about it, in Google News. April 30 Q&A video here; transcript below. Why hasn't the UN Security Council had a single meeting about the government's killings in Cameroon, specifically in the former British Southern Cameroons? Previous UK ambassador Matthew Rycroft, and now his successors, tell Inner City Press the UK continues to monitor the issue, even as the UK denied in full Inner City Press' request for documents under the UK Freedom of Information Act, and the UK Mission to the UN siddles up only to the media which don't ask them about the issue. Now this outrage: the UK is bragging about a big natural gas deal with Paul Biya's government, through a London based company called New Age. Minister Liam Fox "announced today a deal worth more than £1.5 billion had been secured by a UK company to deliver natural gas project in Cameroon." More detailed, "Following Trade Minister, Baroness Fairhead’s, meeting with Minister Secretary General Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, London based oil and gas company, New Age, and the Cameroon Government have agreed a deal which will see the development of a floating natural gas project in Cameroon utilising the offshore Etinde gas field. The project is of huge importance to the African country, who will be able to ramp up their gas export operation, in turn generating a huge revenue stream for the public treasury, whilst also helping to develop offshore infrastructure in support of future local power generation." This is on the UK.gov website, here. We'll have more on this. On June 7, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you this.  It has to do with Cameroon.  It's reported that Samuel Eto’o, the football player, as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, will be touring with Government officials [in] the Anglophone areas trying to encourage people to either go back to school or stop protesting, and so there's a lot of pushback against him.  And I wanted to know, one, when's the last time Mr. [Francois Lounceny] Fall was in the area?  Maybe you have it or could find it out… I want to compare.

Spokesman:  No, I mean there's nothing more than what is publicly known.

Inner City Press:  Would Samuel Eto’o’s trip, if it takes place — he's in Yaoundé — would it be as a UN Goodwill Ambassador?  And, if so, what would you say to the…?

Spokesman:  I have to check what his status is and who he actually worked for.

Inner City Press:  Well, people are saying that he's said nothing about this crisis the whole time…

Spokesman:  No, no, I'm not debating you. I just have to see what… the details.

Inner City Press:  Can you… okay.  I'd appreciate an answer on that." But 23 hours later, nothing. Dujarric waited until the June 8 noon briefing, when he read out: "I was asked yesterday about a visit, I think by you Matthew, by [football star] Samuel Eto’o to Anglophone Cameroon.  UNICEF has told us that this was a private visit to Cameroon, and that this was done completely outside his role as UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador." Video here. We'll see.