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Bahrain Propaganda Special: Busted ---- UN Calls Out Regime for "Blatant Distortion"

Navi Pillay (2nd from left) with Bahrain officialsSo I'm trawling for news on Sunday morning, and the ever-so-helpful activist for the Bahraini regime excitedly points me to this story from the Gulf Daily News, the "Voice of Bahrain":

A top UN official yesterday admitted it received false information about what happened in Bahrain during the unrest. "Certain information which we received about the developments in Bahrain was untrue," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Dr Navi Pillay said as she held talks with Social Development Minister and Acting Health Minister Dr Fatima Al Balooshi, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Children's Rights Committee in Geneva.

Dr Pillay acknowledged that the situation in Bahrain is by far different, and is thus incomparable to ongoing unrest in other countries in the region.

She thanked His Majesty King Hamad for inviting a UNHCHR mission to Bahrain.

Dr Al Balooshi briefed Dr Pillay on the current situation in Bahrain, stressing that things had returned to normal.

"The government of Bahrain is looking forward to a new prolific period, building on the landmark achievements under His Majesty's reform project," she said.

Quite an exclusive. Indeed, so exclusive that, apart from the Gulf Daily News, there was no evidence that the UN's Pillay had made such a statement.

So --- even though I am sure my Bahraini activist chum on social media was not indulging in propaganda of any kind whatsoever --- I chose not to highlight the article.

And now this morning, the twist. From the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:

The High Commissioner would like to make clear that a meeting she had last Friday with Bahrain’s Minister of Social Development and acting health minister, Dr Fatima bint Mohammed Al Balooshi and three other Bahrain government officials, has been grossly misrepresented in a report by the Bahrain News Agency. The BNA article was subsequently picked up by a number of newspapers in the region, including the Khaleej Times and the Gulf Daily News, and even by some Sri Lankan government officials and media for their own purposes.

The Bahrain News Agency, which was not present at the meeting, stated that the High Commissioner had “recognized misinformation” about the Kingdom of Bahrain, and quoted her as saying “Certain information which we received about the developments in Bahrain are untrue.”

The High Commissioner would like to stress that she made no such statement, and is disturbed by this blatant distortion of her words. She will formally request the Government officials who attended the meeting to issue a correction.

The discussions at the meeting with the Bahraini Government delegation focused mainly on the proposed OHCHR mission to Bahrain, as well as a number of other issues relating to the recent protests, including the need for transparent independent investigations into the human rights violations that have taken place there.

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