7 JUNE 2021

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

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Questions and Answers

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Question:  A little more concrete, I think.  Stéphane, an Al Jazeera journalist was arrested over the weekend covering protests in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.  Other journalists have been arrested there.  In this case, she was accused of not having proper credentials and assaulting a police officer, all of which the network and she strongly denies.  I’m just wondering if you are concerned about this trend, particularly in Sheikh Jarrah, but also, we saw what happened in Gaza with AP and Al Jazeera and so on.  Do you have any reaction?

Spokesman:  We are concerned.  We saw those reports.  We are concerned about the trend globally.  I mean, we are seeing it in so many either in conflict zones or in places where there are demonstrations with the authorities or blocking journalists from doing their work, which is reporting.  Journalists need to be protected everywhere.  Abdelhamid?

Correspondent:  Thank you, Stéphane.  And thank you, Saloomey, for taking the questions about Jarrah and Givara Budeiri.  And I want to add that her camera was broken.  She was roughed up by the police and there was an outcry for her release, and she was released.  However, we didn’t hear from any of the UN officials, or I don’t know about.  So, you can correct me if there was any statement, too.

Spokesman:  I was asked the question Abdelhamid, and I reacted.  Did you have another question?

Question:  Yes.  I do have two questions, in fact.  Also, Mona el-Kurd and her brother, Mohammed, who became very well-known for their steadfastness and their [inaudible], both arrested and they were released also a day after when their father was sitting in front of Israeli Court.  Also, I was expecting something to come from the UN about their arrest and I was disappointed again that the UN did not say anything, unless I don’t know about it, and I will apologize if there was any statement.

Spokesman:  Well, I mean, I think on the issue of Sheikh Jarrah, I think various UN entities, notably UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency), has been very vocal.  Mr. [Philippe] Lazzarini visited the area not too long ago and we continue to follow the situation very closely.

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For information media. Not an official record.