UNITED NATIONS GATE, January 17 – In a closed door UN staff meeting Secretary General Antonio Guterres on January 17 blamed his own envoy Nicholas Haysom for getting thrown out of Somalia, calling Haysom's letter to the government about human rights "impolite" and "arrogant." Inner City Press knows and exclusively publishes audio of this, here, because UN staff disgusted by Guterres' sell out of human rights and of them are exclusively providing information to Inner City Press, which Guterres had roughed up and banned now for 197 days and counting. Guterres' comment confirm that he is even weaker on human rights than Ban Ki-moon was, and that he does not back up even his senior staff, much less day to day UN staff including national staff. Ironically, when challenged in the meeting about this Guterres called the criticism from his staff "unilateral and unfair." He has roughed up and censored the Press and concealed his own links to UN briber CEFC China Energy, through the Gulbenkian Foundation from which he took money. For all of these reasons, now most recently this sell out of his envoy in Somalia, Guterres should resign or be impeached, the whistleblowers say. He must certainly stop banning the Press which covers his mismanagement and corruption. For weeks the UN of Secretary General Antonio Guterres has refused to answer Press questions about Somalia. Now after Guterres' SRSG representative Nicholas Haysom was ordered to cease operations in, and presumably leave, Somalia, Guterres on January 4 has said the country CANNOT declare Haysom Persona Non Grata, since the UN "is not a state." Why then can Guterres rough up and ban a journalist and claim immunity? And Inner City Press, which Guterres had roughed up on 3 July 2018 and banned since, had before that asked Guterres' Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about a PNG-ing of UN staff by Burundi and Dujarric said, "I don’t know what the status of the staff member who was 'PNG-ed.' We can check." Video here. But it's worse. When the UN tried to send an SRSG to Iraq and the government objected, the decision was reversed. But never, UN staff tell Inner City Press, has a UN Secretary General given in as quickly as Guterres has to Somalia. They tell Inner City Press exclusively that Guterres was hung up on on the phone. And that the UN Political Affairs operation under Rosemary DiCarlo was not even in the loop on the absurd statement read out by Farhan Haq at at noon. "She's nothing," a long time DPA official told Inner City Press. "If Washington every looks closely she'll be fired." If it happens, it should be for the scandal of the handover of the Department's website to the photographer husband of her chief of staff, unacted on by the titular head of the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services who has disappeared and is said by her own staff to be... well, that will have to wait. Watch this site. Sierra Leone PNG-ed Michael von der Schulenburg, of whom Inner City Press also asked before being roughed up and banned under Guterres - who claims immunity for all of this. We'll have more on this. Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Guterres will nevertheless replace Haysom "in due course." This is Guterres' full statement via Haq: "The Secretary-General deeply regrets the decision of the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia to declare the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Nicholas Haysom, persona non grata. The Secretary-General has full confidence in Mr. Haysom, an experienced and respected international civil servant who has distinguished himself in numerous senior leadership roles, in the field and at UN Headquarters. The doctrine of persona non grata does not apply to, or in respect of, United Nations personnel. As described in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the doctrine applies to diplomatic agents who are accredited by one State to another in the context of their bilateral relations. The United Nations is not a State and its personnel are not accredited to the States where they are deployed, but work under the sole responsibility of the Secretary-General. At the same time the Secretary-General is totally committed to ensuring that the needs of the Somali people are at the forefront of the work of the United Nations in Somalia. UNSOM needs to be able to carry out in the most effective manner its mandate to support the country. Therefore, he intends to appoint in due course a new Special Representative for Somalia and Head of UNSOM. The Secretary-General remains strongly committed to assisting Somalia in its efforts to achieve peace, stability and prosperity for all." While Guterres' spokesmen refused to answer banned Inner City Press' written questions on January 2, including about Somaliland, in the briefing room Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said "at this stage, I can’t officially confirm it. What I can say is that we’re looking into the matter. We’re trying to get the various details corroborated, and we’re going to see, based on that, what further steps are needed. Question: Fink was due to address the Council tomorrow, was he not? Deputy Spokesman: Yes, and he is going to address the Security Council, and I believe he’s also scheduled to meet with the Secretary‑General tomorrow." But there is nothing on Guterres' public schedule, for the second day in a row after a ten day junket with location and costs undisclosed. Fink, indeed. Somaliland's government issued a statement that “Somalia’s decision to expel UN Rep doesn’t concern Somaliland;" its Upper House has invited Haysom to relocate there. Guterres was on a junket location UNdisclosed for more than ten days; on January 2 there is nothing on his public schedule. And he has still said nothing, including on this: Somalia's foreign ministry is notifying United Nations Secretary General that Mr Nicholas Haysom is banned and cease all operations within the country. This decision comes after Mr Haysom deliberately and intentionally interfered in state affairs." And, typically, from the UN of Guterres, nothing. This remained the case even many hours later when Guterres robo-issued a statement about what Haysom had called an indirect attack on the UN compound: "The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s attacks against the United Nations compound in Mogadishu. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured colleagues. The Secretary-General recalls that intentionally directing armed attacks against United Nations personnel may constitute a violation of international humanitarian law. He urges the Somali authorities to investigate the attacks and swiftly bring those responsible to justice. The Secretary-General reaffirms that such acts will not diminish the strong resolve of the United Nations to continue supporting the people and Government of Somalia in their efforts to build peace and stability in the country." Guterres, whose spokespeople have declined 10 days of questions as to where the UNSG is and how much it costs, refuses Inner City Press' questions about why it is not a conflict of interest to refuse to audit CEFC when in 2018 it tried to buy Partex Oil & Gas from the Gulbenkian Foundation of which Guterres hasbeen a paid board member... The UN supports and funds AMISOM in Somalia but rarely answers when AMISOM kills people. But this time AMISOM has stepped in it, and the UN should be required to answer the Press, even as corrupt Secretary General bans it for the 166nd day. Our correspondents told us: "the Ethiopian contingent under AMISOM abducted Mukhtar Robow Ali, former Al Shabab number 2 and candidate to Southwest state of Somalia. The amisom handed over to Somalia federal government who was not happy to his candidacy. As result people took to the street and at least 10 people was killed by Ethiopian/Amisom. Amisom works under U.N. Peacekeeping framework (outsourced project) and is funded by EU and US. Somalia police participated the killing is under the payroll of UNDP. Hours past still no words from UN bosses [because they are corrupt]. The city is preparing to more riot and conflict. Robow is no longer under U.N. or International sanctions and recently met the U.N. envoy however the government of Somalia is exploiting the weaknesses of Amisom through corruption to the highest officials. Dozen Somali federal MPs accused the Amisom envoy as taking sides and may have benefited financially from the government." On December 14 banned Inner City Press in writing asked the UN, before a noon briefing it was banned from and in which no one allowed in asked any question about anything in Africa, much less Somalia, asked "December 14-3: On Somalia, what is the SG's comment and action on the deadly violence triggered by the arrest of Mukhtar Robow while seeking the presidency of South West state in next week's election? Separately, what role including logistical support did the UN play?" At 2:40 pm deputy UN Spokesman Farhan Haq responded, "Regarding question December 14-3, we can say the following: Together with international partners, we underscore the importance of respecting the electoral process and the rule of law. We do not endorse or reject individual candidates.
We are concerned about developments in South West State. We deplore all violence and any other acts that could exacerbate the humanitarian situation.
We underscore our support for the agreed framework governing the elections, and urge all parties to respect the integrity of the electoral process. We encourage constructive dialogue to resolve political differences in order to advance the political and economic progress of the country." But after more questions arose, including resignations, on December 17 before Guterres' lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric held a briefing he banned Inner City Press for, Inner City Press asked Guterres and him in writing, "December 17-1: On Somalia, what is the SG's comment and action now that Somali authorities say Mukhtar Robow has been disqualified from contesting in this week's regional elections? Also, what is the UN's knowledge of any role by UN supported AMISOM and/or Ethiopian troops in the arrest of Mukhtar Robow?" And more then five hours later at close of business, no answer by Dujarric to this or any other Press question asked. Totally corrupt. Uganda was recently shown in the US v Patrick Ho trial to be soliciting bribes at the UN, at least its foreign minister Sam Kutesa, soliciting a $500,000 "campaign contribution" to the President. We'll have more on this. In November the UN Secretariat merely passed the buck through its spokesmen when banned Inner City Press asked about "peacekeepers" from Burundi supported by the UN killed at least four civilians in Somalia. Here was the second question, from Inner City Press which after covering the UN from inside for 10 years has been banned by SG Antonio Guterres for 132 days and counting: "November 12-3: On the Burundian troops shooting civilians in Somalia, while all your office answered was to look at AMISOM's press release, Inner City Press' question is how this is impact the UN continuing to take/pay Burundi soldiers as UN Peacekeepers, or if at a minimum those involved in the Somalia reprisals will be barred from UN “service,” given that “Burundian troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) are alleged to have opened fire on four civilians on Tuesday after their convoy was targeted by a roadside bomb. Three of the men died at the scene, while the fourth died later in hospital. Witnesses interviewed by Amnesty International reported that the troops drove over an improvised explosive device that detonated as they travelled through a district in the north of Mogadishu. In response, the troops are alleged to have exited their vehicles and “arbitrarily shot” the four men, who were named as Ali Shire Ugas, Hassan Yusuf Siyad, Qasim Dahir Khayre and Ahmed Mohamud Basey. Three of the men were lorry drivers, while Basey was a tuk-tuk driver." To this, on November 13, the UN answered: "On question Nov. 12-3, we are aware that AMISOM is conducting an investigation into the incident. UNSOM has shared relevant information with AMISOM as it proceeds with its investigation." What information? Why keep deploying these troops? Back on "November 7-4: On Somalia (and Burundi) what is the SG's comment and action on that “African Union soldiers in Somalia have been accused of killing four civilians in the capital, Mogadishu. Witnesses say the soldiers opened fire on locals when their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb. The incident happened in the Huriwa district in the north of the city.On its Twitter account, the African Union mission said its convoy had come across explosions but made no mention of the shooting, alleged to have involved Burundian troops”? Hours later, the UN told Inner City Press only that AMISOM had a statement. But that wasn't the question - it was passing the buck regarding killings by force the UN Secretariat supports. Here is today's UN Security Council statement: "The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attacks of 9 November 2018, which killed and injured innocent Somalis.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Somalia. The members of the Security Council wished a speedy recovery to those injured.
The members of the Security Council commended the swift response of Somalia’s security and first responders.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Somalia and all other relevant authorities in this regard.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist attacks.
The members of the Security Council paid tribute to all Somali and international actors working to bring peace and stability in Somalia. The members of the Security Council reiterated their determination to support peace, stability and development in Somalia. They underlined that neither this nor any other terrorist attack would weaken that determination." UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq has not answereed a single one of Inner City Press' dozen questions submitted on November 8 and 9. Inner City Press on July 5 was banned from entering the UN, the day after it filed a criminal complaint against UN Security for physically removing it from covering the meeting about the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' $6.7 billion peacekeeping budget, as witnessed and essentially cheered on by senior UN official Christian Saunders, tearing its reporter's shirt, painfully and intentionally twisting his arm and slamming shut and damaging his laptop. On August 17, Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale issued a letter banning Inner City Press from the UN - for life. With no due process. She and Guterres have put the UN in the US Press Freedom Tracker, here. Smale said, again, that the UN would answer Press questions to the Spokesman Stephane Dujarric and his Office.
USG Smale, also now on three week vacation, has claimed that the SG's spokesmen are answering Inner City Press' email questions. First, for example, none of the four questions submitted yesterday morning, 24 hours ago, has been answered. Second, even if these e-mailed questions were all being answered it does not make up for denying Inner City Press the right not only to attend the noon briefing and other press conferences, but the stakeouts at the Security Council and elsewhere, such as the Budget Committee meeting stakeout I was physically ousted from on July 3. It's 19 days of outright censorship, and counting.
July 23, 2017
Alison Smale, Under Secretary General for Global Communications
New York, New York
Dear Ms. Smale:
Thank you for your letter of July 19th concerning the actions of the United Nations with respect to
Matthew Russell Lee, a US journalist who has been covering the UN since 2006. Unfortunately, it is not
possible to determine from your response what guideline or regulation Mr. Lee violated that resulted in
his expulsion from the premises.
First, your letter tells us that you consider the withdrawal of Mr. Lee’s accreditation as a resident
correspondent closed because the US government was informed of the circumstances concerning this
action. Mr. Lee tells GAP that he has not been informed and was not consulted about this decision.
Was there some form of due process surrounding the decision to withdraw Mr. Lee’s resident
correspondent credentials in 2016, and if so, who participated and of what did it consist?
Second, you explain Mr. Lee’s two expulsions by dispositive statements asserting that he violated the
scope of his permissions. Ms. Smale, the operative question is which of the media guidelines did Mr.
Lee violate, and what action was in violation of the guidelines? If you cannot identify the specific
regulation broken, we cannot address your response. Mr. Lee tells GAP that UN Security officials
accused him of exceeding the time limits allowing a non-resident correspondent to access the UN
premises, but he presents evidence clearly demonstrating that the meeting he was covering was still in
session when he was evicted. According to the guidelines, non-resident correspondents may access the
premises for two hours after the adjournment of the event they are covering.
Third, according to your letter, Mr. Lee behaved in a confrontational manner when approached by
United Nations Security officials, who were therefore entitled to expel him. However, it was Mr. Lee’s
shirt that was torn and it was his laptop that was damaged by the UN officials. Mr. Lee asserts that it
was the officials who behaved uncivilly, and the videos he recorded illustrate this fact.
Fourth, your letter informs us that the matter is under review, but prior to the release of conclusions of
the review, you inform us of what this exercise will find: “As a result of Mr. Lee’s recent actions in
violation of the Media Guidelines and his unacceptable comportment when dealing with United Nations
Safety and Security officials, Mr. Lee’s privileges of access to the premises of the United Nations as a
non-resident correspondent have been suspended. Those privileges of access will remain suspended
pending a review of this matter to determine what further actions, if any, should be taken with respect
to such privileges.” In other words, the review is not a process to determine what actually happened on the dates in question. It is instead an exercise to determine what further actions can be taken against Mr. Lee. Our question is, why is this matter under review? Are you not enfranchised to decide what actions shall be taken against a journalist who has violated the terms of his privileges? A more basic question is, why is there no due process to consider a violation and evidence regarding what actually
happened in Mr. Lee’s case (and more generally)?
Ms. Smale, if we are allowed to argue this dispute before an objective decision-maker, in reference to
specific guidelines, allegations of violations and production of evidence, we can demonstrate that Mr.
Lee’s expulsion from UN premises was unprovoked, and most likely retaliatory for articles he has written
critical of UN operations. If, however, we are subject to an exchange of letters, in which you respond to
us and to Mr. Lee with dispositive statements, without reference to specific guidelines violated or
evidence of the violation cited, we cannot prevail.
In short, the United Nations, and in particular your office, is deciding who will be accredited to inform
the public about the operations of the United Nations. This practice, in itself, is a violation of Article 19
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the UN was established to uphold.
Once again, GAP is requesting information about the specific guidelines that Mr. Lee violated on June
22nd and on July 3rd of this year that caused his eviction from the premises of the UN. And most urgently,
we respectfully request immediate access to the premises, so that Mr. Lee can do his job. Today, we are
informed that the UN Security Council is meeting about Afghanistan, Lebanon, Eritrea, Ethiopia and
Myanmar, and Mr. Lee cannot access any of those meetings or the stakeouts. Please respond by e-mail
this afternoon, if possible.
Finally, GAP is aware you are on vacation for three weeks, but response (and full reinstatement) should
not and cannot defer to that schedule...
Cc: Officer in Charge, Department of Global Communications
And on January 17, 2019, Inner City Press without hearing or appeal remains banned from the UN by Guterres. This is UN censorship.