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How a United Nations Agency UNWTO want to silence the press?

How a United Nations Agency UNWTO want to silence the press?

UNWTO (the World Tourism Organization)  has its own interpretation when it comes to the freedom of the press,  and it doesn’t include U.S. based travel and tourism publication eTurboNews.

Under the leadership of UNWTO  Secretary-General Zurab  Pololikashvili, the United Nations seems to be joining countries or government associations,  that see critical media as their enemies. Mr. Pololikashvili is from the Republic of Georgia, a country ranked “partially free” with a rank of 102 in the world of free media.

Even in the United States, where media is considered free and guaranteed under the first amendment of the U.S. constitution, U.S. President Donald Trump called critical media including CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post as enemies of the people. Fortunately, there is not much the president can do to stop the American media. The United States is considered number 33  and ranked as “free” in the world when it comes to freedom of the press.

The UN Specialized Agency for Tourism UNWTO  has now openly declared eTurboNews as the enemy of world tourism.

The agency spent United Nations money to hire the law firm Case Lombardi & Pettie in Honolulu, Hawaii to deliver a demand email to Cease and Desist Defamatory Statements against UNWTO. The letter was emailed on November 21 to Juergen Steinmetz, publisher of eTurboNews.

The letter doesn’t explain what the complaint is referring to. The attorneys did not respond for the last 2 weeks after repeated letters and phone calls by eTurboNews. UNWTO also did not respond to inquiries by eTN.

Just two weeks earlier eTN Publisher Juergen Steinmetz met Marcelo Risi, Head of media relations of UNWTO during the recently concluded World Travel Market in London. Steinmetz urged  Risi to re-open the channel of communication between eTurboNews and UNWTO to avoid any type of one-sided reports.

Ever since Secretary-General Zurab  Pololikashvili  was appointed to lead the tourism body as of January 1, 2018, no response was ever received to questions by eTurboNews reporters. Accreditation to the General Assembly in St. Petersburg Russia was denied for eTurboNews staff.

Reaching out to the Russian host was also without success. Russia is considered spot 174 in world press freedom and ranked as “not free”.

How UNWTO, a United Nations Agency wants to silence U.S. media?

eTurboNews emails to UNWTO email receivers were blocked by the UN Specialized Agency during the General Assembly in September.

eTN had to contact UNWTO readers and suggested to them to subscribe with their personal email instead.  The email eTN used to contact UNWTO staff was the same email the Honolulu law firm used to contact the eTurboNews publisher with their demand letter on behalf of UNWTO. After the eTN email to UNWTO staff,  the internet web-server of this publication was hacked by an unknown attacker and the keyword “UNWTO” was temporarily erased during the criminal attack on this publication server.Tech experts by the hosting company deleted a malicious script and file implanted under the name “Iranian hacker” on the eTN server. It’s unclear if there is a connection between UNWTO and Iran. eTurboNews reported why Iran is important to UNWTO in December 2018. Iran is country number 190 when it comes to freedom of press and considered  “not free.”

Despite the ongoing attack by UNWTO, eTurboNews continued to be the number one global publication covering the agencies’ press statements without edit and in a mostly positive way.  As of today, eTurboNews published  3794 press-releases and stories on UNWTO over the last 12 years. It does not include articles published on the other publications under the TravelNewsGroup .

eTurboNews continued and will continue to report about UNWTO.
eTN Publisher Juergen Steinmetz said: “eTurboNews had received many confidential outcries for help from members of the inner circle within the UNWTO and only published a fraction of such feedback. We always crosscheck such content and provide an opportunity for UNWTO to comment.  Ever since 2018 UNWTO has not responded to emails or phone calls and did not comment on eTurboNews.  The Secretary-General did not invite eTN reporters to press- conferences and disallowed eTN to ask question at the only press conference this publication attended. The conference was by WTTC.”

eTurboNews worked with UNWTO for almost 20 years and represented the global media at the UNWTO task Group against sexual exploitation of children in tourism.

This task group was a priority under the former Secretary-General Dr. Taleb Rifai and was eliminated by Pololikashvili right after he took the helm. No reason was ever given to the members of the task group.

The worst five countries in the world when it comes to press freedom are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Eritrea, Crimea. and North Korea. The best ratings in press freedom are recorded in Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, and Denmark.

Freedom of the Press 2017
Country Rank Score Status
 Norway 1 08 Free
 Netherlands 2 11 Free
 Sweden 2 11 Free
 Belgium 4 12 Free
 Denmark 4 12 Free
 Finland 4 12 Free
  Switzerland 7 13 Free
 Luxembourg 8 14 Free
 Andorra 9 15 Free
 Iceland 9 15 Free
 Liechtenstein 9 15 Free
 Palau 9 15 Free
 Costa Rica 13 16 Free
 Estonia 13 16 Free
 Monaco 13 16 Free
 Marshall Islands 16 17 Free
 Portugal 16 17 Free
 Saint Lucia 16 17 Free
 San Marino 16 17 Free
 Canada 20 18 Free
 Ireland 20 18 Free
 Barbados 22 19 Free
 Jamaica 22 19 Free
 New Zealand 22 19 Free
 Germany 25 20 Free
 Czech Republic 26 21 Free
 Lithuania 26 21 Free
 Micronesia 26 21 Free
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 26 21 Free
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 26 21 Free
 Australia 31 22 Free
 Austria 31 22 Free
 Bahamas 33 23 Free
 Cyprus 33 23 Free
 Malta 33 23 Free
 Slovenia 33 23 Free
 United States 33 23 Free
 Uruguay 38 24 Free
 Dominica 39 25 Free
 Taiwan 39 25 Free
 Trinidad and Tobago 39 25 Free
 United Kingdom 39 25 Free
 Vanuatu 39 25 Free
 France 44 26 Free
 Grenada 44 26 Free
 Latvia 44 26 Free
 Slovakia 44 26 Free
 Belize 48 27 Free
 Cape Verde 48 27 Free
 Japan 48 27 Free
 Solomon Islands 48 27 Free
 Tuvalu 48 27 Free
 São Tomé and Príncipe 53 28 Free
 Spain 53 28 Free
 Suriname 53 28 Free
 Chile 56 29 Free
 Mauritius 56 29 Free
 Papua New Guinea 56 29 Free
 Samoa 56 29 Free
 Kiribati 60 30 Free
 Tonga 60 30 Free
 Italy 62 31 Partly Free
 Namibia 63 32 Partly Free
 Ghana 64 33 Partly Free
 Israel 64 33 Partly Free
 Antigua and Barbuda 66 34 Partly Free
 Poland 66 34 Partly Free
 South Korea 66 34 Partly Free
 Timor-Leste 69 35 Partly Free
 Benin 70 37 Partly Free
 Mali 70 37 Partly Free
 Mongolia 70 37 Partly Free
 Guyana 73 38 Partly Free
 Romania 73 38 Partly Free
 South Africa 73 38 Partly Free
 Burkina Faso 76 41 Partly Free
 Croatia 76 41 Partly Free
 El Salvador 76 41 Partly Free
 Panama 76 41 Partly Free
 Bulgaria 80 42 Partly Free
 Dominican Republic 80 42 Partly Free
 Hong Kong 80 42 Partly Free
 India 83 43 Partly Free
 Fiji 84 44 Partly Free
 Greece 84 44 Partly Free
 Hungary 84 44 Partly Free
 Montenegro 84 44 Partly Free
 Philippines 84 44 Partly Free
 Botswana 89 45 Partly Free
 Malawi 89 45 Partly Free
 Peru 89 45 Partly Free
 Argentina 92 46 Partly Free
 Nauru 92 46 Partly Free
 Brazil 94 47 Partly Free
 Senegal 94 47 Partly Free
 Kosovo 96 48 Partly Free
 Mozambique 96 48 Partly Free
 Comoros 98 49 Partly Free
 Indonesia 98 49 Partly Free
 Serbia 98 49 Partly Free
 Seychelles 98 49 Partly Free
 Georgia 102 50 Partly Free
 Albania 103 51 Partly Free
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 103 51 Partly Free
 Côte d’Ivoire 103 51 Partly Free
 Lesotho 103 51 Partly Free
 Nigeria 103 51 Partly Free
 Haiti 108 52 Partly Free
   Nepal 108 52 Partly Free
 Niger 108 52 Partly Free
 Bolivia 111 53 Partly Free
 Mauritania 111 53 Partly Free
 Somaliland 111 53 Partly Free
 Ukraine 111 53 Partly Free
 Sierra Leone 115 54 Partly Free
 Tunisia 115 54 Partly Free
 Nicaragua 117 55 Partly Free
 Lebanon 118 56 Partly Free
 Moldova 118 56 Partly Free
 Colombia 120 57 Partly Free
 Togo 120 57 Partly Free
 Bhutan 122 58 Partly Free
 Guatemala 122 58 Partly Free
 Kenya 122 58 Partly Free
 Madagascar 122 58 Partly Free
 Tanzania 122 58 Partly Free
 Uganda 122 58 Partly Free
 Guinea-Bissau 128 59 Partly Free
 Paraguay 128 59 Partly Free
 Afghanistan 130 60 Partly Free
 Congo (Brazzaville) 130 60 Partly Free
 Kuwait 130 60 Partly Free
 Liberia 130 60 Partly Free
 Sri Lanka 134 61 Not Free
 Bangladesh 135 62 Not Free
 Maldives 135 62 Not Free
 Armenia 137 63 Not Free
 Zambia 137 63 Not Free
 Macedonia 139 64 Not Free
 Mexico 139 64 Not Free
 Algeria 141 65 Not Free
 Pakistan 141 65 Not Free
 Cameroon 143 66 Not Free
 Ecuador 143 66 Not Free
 Guinea 143 66 Not Free
 Honduras 143 66 Not Free
 Morocco 143 66 Not Free
 Kyrgyzstan 148 67 Not Free
 Singapore 148 67 Not Free
 Jordan 150 68 Not Free
 Malaysia 151 69 Not Free
 Cambodia 152 70 Not Free
 Qatar 152 70 Not Free
 South Sudan 152 70 Not Free
 Central African Republic 155 71 Not Free
 Gabon 155 71 Not Free
 Iraq 155 71 Not Free
 Oman 155 71 Not Free
 Angola 159 73 Not Free
 Myanmar 159 73 Not Free
 Chad 161 74 Not Free
 Zimbabwe 161 74 Not Free
 Brunei 163 76 Not Free
 Turkey 163 76 Not Free
 Djibouti 165 77 Not Free
 Egypt 165 77 Not Free
 Libya 165 77 Not Free
 Thailand 165 77 Not Free
 United Arab Emirates 169 78 Not Free
 Rwanda 170 79 Not Free
 Somalia 170 79 Not Free
 Venezuela 172 81 Not Free
 Congo (Kinshasa) 173 82 Not Free
 Belarus 174 83 Not Free
 Russia 174 83 Not Free
 Swaziland 174 83 Not Free
 Vietnam 177 84 Not Free
 Palestine 177 84 Not Free
 Burundi 179 85 Not Free
 Kazakhstan 179 85 Not Free
 Laos 179 85 Not Free
 Yemen 179 85 Not Free
 Ethiopia 183 86 Not Free
 Saudi Arabia 183 86 Not Free
 Sudan 183 86 Not Free
 Bahrain 186 87 Not Free
 China 186 87 Not Free
 Tajikistan 186 87 Not Free
 The Gambia 186 87 Not Free
 Azerbaijan 190 90 Not Free
 Iran 190 90 Not Free
 Syria 190 90 Not Free
 Cuba 193 91 Not Free
 Equatorial Guinea 193 91 Not Free
 Crimea 195 94 Not Free
 Eritrea 195 94 Not Free
 Uzbekistan 197 95 Not Free
 North Korea 198 98 Not Free
 Turkmenistan 198 98 Not Free

 

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