UN security officer issues 'death threat' to Italian Insider'
ROME – A UN security officer working for FAO has defended his Italian boss against charges of cronyism and issued a thinly-veiled death threat against Italian Insider, saying on Twitter that an article he disliked is “another nail in your coffin.”
The UN official made the threatening comment in a tweeted message from a Rome-based Twitter account named “Rebel w/o cause@UNDSS_Ukraine.” The UNDSS is the UN Department of Safety and Security based in New York. The Twitter account uses a macho logo of a rear view of a man wearing a Polizia vest doing target practise.
Responding to Insider’s tweet of its story on how security team leaders without firearms and language skills have been promoted unfairly, the UN officer said “All lies! What a shame! These people set you up. They chose you because they know you publish unchecked lies! This is another nail in your coffin.”
It was unclear why the UN officer used the threatening language though an officer, Vlad Khamisov, is the No.3 supervisor of the FAO security team and previously worked for UNDSS.
The UN Security officer added in another tweet to the Insider “I’m talking about lies that some disgruntled guards feed you. You perpetuate these lies without checking facts. Making yourself sound completely stupid and ruining a good name of a person that trying to improve the service.”
The UN Security officer continued to send abusive messages to Italian Insider Tuesday on Twitter saying "the burden is on you, if you call yourself a journalist, to prove what you are publishing. You never tried to check if the information provided to you is valid, because you are not a journalist. You are a petty spreader of fakes. Everybody knows it."
He continued "there is no such thing as promotion in the UN and FAO system since ages. A vacancy is published and candidates apply for the job. HR selects qualified candidates for the technical test and competencies based interview by the panel from different units to ensure transparency."
Asked if he is Khamisov, the Ukrainian security officer said Tuesday“The nail in a coffin” expression, in case you misunderstood, refers to the reputation of your so called newspaper, not any person. It is not a death treat (sic). I’m not here to threaten anyone. I’m here to shame your lies."
Italian Insider editor John Phillips said “we will not be intimidated by self-styled or real UN security officers into stopping our investigative reports on the FAO and other UN agencies.”
“We hope that FAO Director General Qu Dongyu will discipline the UN officer responsible. It is totally unacceptable to threaten the lives of reporters.”
The threatening language came a week after a Greek investigative reporter was shot and killed in Athens last week against a background of increasing violence against journalists in Europe including murders in Malta and Slovakia.