Are You Listening New York Times? Gareth Jones & The Holodomor at the United Nations

Clipboard-1The great nephew of Gareth Jones, Nigel Linsan Colley recently discovered his great uncle’s diaries exposing the Holodomor touring Ukraine in the 30’s and delivered a speech to the United Nations in New York last week:

Last week, 180 newspapers across the world, from the Washington Post to the London Times reported the remarkable story of Gareth Jones and his graphic eyewitness accounts of his off-limits trek into Ukraine during the height of Moscow’s starvation of that country. Today, we call it the “Holodomor.” Gareth’s accounts are preserved in his journalist’s diaries which probably now represent the only surviving contemporary independent western verification of that genocide. These precious diaries are currently on display in the Wren Library at Cambridge University, where Gareth had been a student. They sit side by side with memorabilia of other illustrious alumni including Sir Isaac Newton’s personal annotated copy of ‘The Principia’, in which he proposed his fundamental mathematical Laws of Motion.

Thanks to the interest generated in 2003, much of the world has been made aware of the true circumstances of the Holodomor but it saddens me to report that although the world press ran the story last week, including a whole page in the London Times, conspicuous by its absence was the NYT.

All the NYT Pulitzer prize winners are being besmirched by the infamous acts of one rogue journalist. Isn’t it time Mr Sulzberger that as publisher of the NYT you should do the decent thing and return his Pulitzer? You owe it to your own paper’s reputation, and your readership, to live by your famous motto and publish ‘all the news that’s fit to print’.

Truth, an an informed public, are the linchpin of a free society

What does all this mean, today? Well, let me first take you back even further to the past. One hundred and seventy years ago, a Frenchman, Marquis de Custine published a book detailing his travels in Russia. Among the observations was this: “Russian despotism not only pays little respect to ideas and sentiments, it will also deny facts; it will struggle against evidence, and triumph in the struggle!”

Truth, and an informed public, are the linchpin of a free society. The campaign in Russia to resurrect Stalin, to whitewash his inhuman crimes, is well under way. There are disturbing signs that his rehabilitation will not only be poorly opposed but may even be facilitated by certain media around the world. Gareth Jones is a shining example of honest journalism, a benchmark to be aspired to by today’s media. It is thanks to efforts of many around us that the Holodomor is slowly, but surely, being accepted as the apogee of Stalin’s terror. I believe that Gareth was viciously murdered by the Soviet secret police. It was what the Frenchman Custine warned about, the Russian struggle against evidence. Just as decades later journalists and others who sought to uncover Moscow’s crimes before a trusting world, would also be murdered. No one is asking you to risk your lives. But do risk a little of your time and energy to uphold principle, honour and the truth. To make sure that despotism does not triumph.

Thank you very much.

[Gareth Jones Memorial]

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