Unethical and unprofessional behaviour:
UNCA probe against Russell Lee
The United Nations Correspondents’ Association (UNCA) has initiated
an inquiry against Inner City Press correspondent Matthew Russell Lee
who was operating from the UN Headquarters on his unethical and
unprofessional behaviour, authoritative diplomatic sources told the
Sunday Observer yesterday. The Executive Committee of the UNCA met on
May 29 to discuss his conduct following many complaints received by the
Association and voted 13 to one in favour of setting up a five-member
Lee’s unethical coverage in the Inner City Press dominated issues and
sensitive affairs concerning Sri Lanka as well.
The meeting was attended by the President of UNCA Giampiolo Pioli and
the Vice Presidents among others.In a letter requesting an inquiry
against Lee, five executive committee members wrote to the UNCA
President, “We feel it’s time to consider whether he truly belongs to an
organisation of journalists committed to professionalism, ethics and
covering the United Nations.”The complaints against him include
harassment of media colleagues at the UN.
The members of the examination board will be decided on by June 1 and
work will begin thereafter. The examination board will have to report
back to the Executive Committee within 10 days.
The sources said if the allegations against Lee are proven, the UN
headquarters will be made out of bounds for him. If the harassment
charges are proven he could face a jail term of up to six years.