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UN investigating 'abhorrent' Israel vehicle sex act in official car

The UN has long been criticised for sexual misconduct allegations against staff and peacekeepers [AFP]

Date of publication: 28 June, 2020

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The United Nations said it was investigating a viral video demonstrating a sexual act in the backseat of a UN-marked car in a busy Israeli street.

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UN, Israel
The United Nations said it is investigating an 'abhorrent' viral video showing an apparent sex act in the backseat of a UN-marked car in Israel, according to news reports.

The 18-second video, which was widely shared on social media this week, shows a woman straddling a man seated in the back of the white 4x4 clearly marked "UN" on its side and roof.

The angle of the video obscured the faces of the couple, as well as that of another man seated in the car's passenger side. The driver of the vehicle could not be seen.

The mobile video is said to have been filmed on a busy main road by Israeli capital Tel Aviv's seafront.

It remains unclear whether the act in the video was consensual or transactional.

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, told the BBC the UN is "shocked and deeply disturbed" by the "abhorrent" act in the video, adding that they go "against everything we stand for and have been working to achieve, in terms of fighting misconduct by UN staff."

Dujarric said the UN is investigating the incident and confirmed the car as an official UN vehicle.

Though the UN has implemented strict rules against sexual abuse and exploitation, this has not prevented sexual misconduct allegations against its staff and peacekeepers from surfacing.

Last year, the UN investigated 175 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation leveled against its staff and peacekeepers. The world body concluded 16 of the allegations were “substantiated”.

A January Human Rights Watch report - which chronicled a global pattern of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers - stated that while the UN can investigate allegations of sexual abuse, holding peacekeepers accountable is up to the country that sends the troops, which renders prosecutions rare.

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