Matthew Lee, right, says he was beaten up, while the cover of a U. N.-budget meeting on Tuesday.
NEW YORK – the United Nations security allegedly beat, threw, and was temporarily banned a reporter from its New York headquarters, this week — the latest incident in what a watchdog described as a “long history “of harassment” against him.
Matthew Lee, who leads the online Inner City Press blog, has long been a thorn in the side of many U. N. officials, with his combative and uncompromising style of reporting. “ICP” makes several long stories a day via the U. N. process, with a particular focus on corruption, incompetence and lack of accountability in the international body.
The content is often deep in the weeds of the U. N. activity with no hearing, speech or photo-op is too small or too dry for Lee’s reporting, and he regularly hiss seen through the building and enter on his laptop in every corner or crevice he can find. He used a periscope to livestream events and offers running, the comments to today’s proceedings, as he goes home on New York city at night.
And so on Tuesday, Lee floated outside a late-night, closed-door hearing on the U. N. peacekeeping budget. In other stores, had reported that the budget was agreed to over the weekend, which was broken on a looming stalemate. But Lee is the proposed reporting, things might not be so clear.
ial video of the incident taken on his phone, Lee shows-Chat with a member of the Committee-but it is a couple of minutes cuts out then to hear later in the case of a scuffle. He claims his shirt was torn, his computer is damaged and his arm twisted by a security guard as he tried to write a story about his conversation.
A man he recognized as the assistant secretary general can be heard, told him the Committee hearing is closed, although Lee said he had never tried to enter the room, and was just reporting in the vicinity of the room.
“I’m a journalist, I’m a journalist,” he can be heard screaming in the pictures. “You see, what is happening here?”
On Thursday, he returned to work, but was denied access to the building, but he was not informed why, or whether it is a temporary or permanent restriction.
“I didn’t say anything,” he told Fox News outside of the building, as he paced by tourists. “It is totally corrupt.”
A security guard at the gate confirmed Lee had been banned from the building, but would not say why or for how long.
Lee with the T-shirt he says was torn, as he was removed from the U. N. security.
In a statement to Fox News, though, Secretary-General of the United Nations, spokesman Farhan Haq said that Lee was in violation of the rules for foreign correspondents and was “loud and aggressive” when asked to leave.
“On the evening of the 3. July, U. N. security has been alerted to a violation of said in the use of an access card, in which a man was with his access card to enter an off-limits area,” Haq.
“If the safety is followed, they found Matthew Lee will be in the building past 9 PM, even after hours for a non-resident correspondent, and she informed him that he was not allowed to roam around the UN compound at this hour. They informed him that he would be required to leave the premises.
“At this point, Mr. Lee loudly and the dispute was addictive, and resisted the instructions of the UN security officers. He was then escorted outside of the building, along with his laptop and backpack.
“Based on his unacceptable behavior, and the fact that he is a repeat offender, was also removed from the building, the on 22. June 2018, Matthew Lee was temporarily excluded from the premises until a full review of this incident,” he said.
Of course, Lee is no stranger to spats with U. N. officials and even some fellow journalists. He had his credentials downgraded-based correspondent for non-resident correspondent in 2016 after a spat over the cover, and was last month ejected from the building after he said he had to leave, even for the alleged violation of the rules, which can be in the case of non-resident correspondents in the building.
Guidelines stating that non-resident correspondents “have only access to IN the weekend or in the evening from a resident correspondents, or if a meeting is advisable, as is taking place.” Lee claimed that because of a budget meeting was actually to take place, he was within his rights to be there.
After he was removed from the building in the last month, the Government Accountability Project alarm about the incident, saying words, it was undeclared and part of a “long history “of harassment” against Lee.
Lee outside the U. N. on Thursday
The GAP noted that he had broken, to bring stories about the role of U. N. peacekeeping troops, the cholera to Haiti, as well as the war crimes in Sri Lanka, Burundi and Sudan.
“The Government Accountability project is deeply concerned about the mistreatment of Matthew Lee, for two reasons. The first, he has covered the U. N. whistleblower cases accurately and in detail, and we about the mistreatment of him as a retaliation,” said the GAP.
“Secondly, its exclusion from the UN compound, because capricious, unannounced and unknown decisions of the managers does not Bode well for the treatment of journalists in U. N.-member States.”
Lee agrees, and says that he thinks it was a vengeful act of a body, has shown that the allergic to accountability and control.
“Absolutely, she sent a message,” he told Fox News on Wednesday before the ban was announced. “If you screw with us, you are not going to an office, you will be hunted down and thrown out of the building.”
“It really is hideous.”
In 2007, The New York Times, Lee described as a “gadfly accreditation” and “like a bull in a carefully diplomatic-China-shop of the United Nations press corp.” This statement is also true today, and Lee often spars with U. N. officials, unused to aggressive questioning of the kind of more on the agenda in Washington.
A number of supporting officials and diplomats approached Lee, as he was, crept outside the U. N. headquarters Thursday to wait for information, but do not want to go on record.
“Everyone who reads him there,” an official who declined to identify himself, told Fox News on the looming U. N. building. “All of them.”
Adam Shaw is a reporter covering the American and European politics for Fox News.. He can be reached.