Rabat – Inter City Press founder Mathew Russell Lee is desperately trying to drag ongoing Rif protests into discussion in the United Nations.
The pro-Polisario journalist, who has previously been criticized by Morocco’s ambassador to the UN, Omare Hilale, for his bias towards the separatist group and manifest “obsession” with Morocco, is now trying a different tactic.
For days, Lee has been posing questions to Stéphane Dujjaric, the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, about Rif protests with the attempt to give the situation in the region an international dimension, only to be shut down by Dujjaric.
“I have nothing to share with you,” responded the spokesperson.
Lee is known for his pro-Polisario stances, something which prompted ambassador Hilale to slam him during a press conference in May, countering the journalist with some insightful figures.
“This question you have just asked me is the 225th you have put about Morocco in one year,” said Hilale in response to a question by the ICP founder. “More than that, you wrote 150 articles about Morocco.”
With such a huge number of questions put to one party in the Western Sahara conflict, Lee made clear on which side he stands.
“I am not complaining about this. But you never address questions to the Polisario, Algeria or Venezuela,” said the ambassador.
The ambassador went on with his rebuke. “Now that the world knows who you are and whom you are targeting, I will answer your question.”
In February 2016, the UN withdrew Lee’s accreditation for “improper conduct” after he wrote that the UN Secretary General “can be sold out.”
As MWN reported at the time of the incident, Lee’s comments “caused a number of journalists accredited to the United Nations to call on the Secretariat to ban him from attending a meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room.”