UN Refuses to Further Investigate Photographer’s Charges of Assault at Durban Climate COP

Photographer states UNFCCC is controlled by corporations pushing the Commodification of Life through the “Green Economy”

The Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini once declared, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” In this light, it is clear that the UNFCCC promotes Fascism.

I’ve been meaning to write a response to John Hay, the Media Relations Officer of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but travel and other matters delayed this response for almost two months.  His last letter dated 8 February 2012 (below and after my response to him) is part of a series of communications I initiated on 16 December 2011 concerning an incident that occurred on 8 December 2011 when I was assaulted by a uniformed but unbadged UN security officer because I took a photograph of him escorting someone out of the Convention Center in Durban, South Africa.

The person who was ejected had just finished a press conference and was being interviewed by media when the security guard grabbed him and began to escort him from the premises.  During the press conference, the person who later was ejected portrayed a clown-like Uncle Sam.  Apparently, wearing a red nose and silly wig, even as part of a press conference, is grounds for eviction from the United Nations Climate Conference.

In Durban, I was accredited  as media by the UNFCCC on assignment for Z Magazine.  In full disclosure I was also employed by Global Justice Ecology Project.

Before my letter to Hay below, here are several posts on Climate Connections that started on 16 December 2011 through today and explain where things stand now:   Formal Complaint Filed Against UN Security Actions in DurbanAddendum: Formal Complaint Filed Against UN Security Actions in DurbanUN First Response: Formal Complaint Filed Against UN Security Actions in DurbanSecond Attempt: Formal Complaint Filed Against UN Security Actions in DurbanUN denies security used undue force when smashing camera into photographer’s faceAnother witness of UN security violence to photographer during Durban Climate Convention, and finally Assaulted photographer accuses UN of cover-up.

Orin Langelle, GJEP board chair

Dear Mr. Hay,

I decided not to let you and the UNFCCC completely off the hook by being silent after your last insulting response to me on 8 February 2012.  You sir, are not worth too much more of my time, however.

I have attached all past communications between the UNFCCC and myself in this email and I am filing them for documentation.  I’ve cc:d the UNFCCC Secretariat and Mr. Frank Larue, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotions and protection of the right to freedom and expression. I have chosen to include Special Rapporteur LaRue in this exchange, as the UNFCCC Secretariat has clearly demonstrated its inability to be a fair judge.

Surely Mr. Hay you are aware that The Special Rapporteur is mandated by HRC resolution 7/36: (a) To gather all relevant information, wherever it may occur, relating to violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, discrimination against, threats or use of violence, harassment, persecution or intimidation directed at persons seeking to exercise or to promote the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including, as a matter of high priority, against journalists or other professionals in the field of information.

I may decide to file an urgent appeal to Special Rapporteur LaRue under Freedom of Opinion and Expression – Individual Complaints: (a) Detention of, discrimination against, or threats or use of violence and harassment, including persecution and intimidation, directed at persons seeking to exercise or to promote the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including professionals in the field of information; and (c) Actions against the media (print and broadcast) or impediments to their independent operation.

I continue to assert that I was assaulted by one of the UN’s uniformed yet un-badged security officers in Durban on mm December 2012 for taking a photograph while I was on assignment for Z Magazine, accredited as a journalist by the UNFCCC.  Facts are the facts and if you and the UNFCCC wish to be involved in a cover-up, so be it.  If you have a conscience it is beyond me how you can dismiss an attack on freedom of the press.

It is criminal to state an investigation was held and no further action will be taken by the Secretariat as there was no systemic study of my allegations, despite my ability to provide witnesses to the assault.  Those witnesses were never contacted.  That, sir, is not an investigation; it is a cover-up.  You and UN security deliberately prevented a true investigation of a serious beach of professional conduct and ethics perpetrated by UN security.  In my opinion you and all security officers involved in this concealment should be fired and fined.

I first started covering the UNFCCC during the 2004 COP 10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  I have photographed and reported on the outcomes of further COPs in Nairobi, Kenya—Bali, Indonesia—Poznan, Poland—Copenhagen, Denmark—Cancun, Mexico and finally Durban South Africa.

Due to watching UN security at work over those years, I can cite many instances of UN security abuse of power toward Indigenous Peoples and some NGOs—I am not alone in my experience of mistreatment.

Through my documentation and research, it is evident that the UNFCCC is only seeking “solutions” to climate change that involve market-based mechanisms designed for the benefit of corporations and some of the more powerful governments, while at the same time, many Non-Governmental Organizations and Indigenous Peoples Organizations are subjected to increased security, scrutiny and censorship, simply because they believe a different approach is required for saving life on Earth.

In Durban, it was crystal clear that the UNFCCC exists to provide a venue for corporations to create profitable false solutions, and to speculate on climate change for the purpose of making money.  And many were doing so as part of official governmental delegations.

Corporations control governments. Hence corporations control the UNFCCC—to the unfortunate detriment of the Earth and all of her beings.

The Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini once declared, “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” In this light, it is clear that the UNFCCC promotes Fascism.

It is tragic, that while millions of humans and other life forms suffer from a growing climate catastrophe, the UNFCCC lets corporations divide up resources in schemes like REDD and other carbon-offset farces.  Now they are promoting the “Green Economy,” which appears geared to set the stage for the total commodification of all life.

I have come to the conclusion that the UNFCCC hides behind the façade of democracy, while corporations control the fate of life and UNFCCC security officers are allowed to assault concerned media when the media are only doing their duty of gathering information.

During the years of the last century when Nazis and Fascists committed atrocities, many journalists around the world fought, not with guns, but with truth coming from their typewriters and cameras.

I will continue in that most honorable tradition.

No longer should UN security hide by not giving their names or showing their identification.  Perpetrators of deceit and deception need to be brought to the eyes of the public.

Orin Langelle

Here is Hay’s letter:

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0 Responses to UN Refuses to Further Investigate Photographer’s Charges of Assault at Durban Climate COP

  1. Robert Jereski

    good going. Thanks for your persistence. This is a case that deserves media attention. I think your documentation should be shared with colleagues promoting press freedoms. I can think of two: Reporters without Borders and Committee to Protect Journalists. Also Human Rights Watch likely has paid staff focused on this.
    Please share with them or let me know if i may. I know people at all of these organizations.

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