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Entries in ProPublica (4)


Bahrain Feature: UN-Linked Institute Sets Up in Kingdom...With Regime Funding (Elliott)

Bahrain's Foreign Minister, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalif, and International Peace Institute President Terje Rød-Larsen exchange copies of their agreement

As Bahrain enters the third year of a crisis sparked by Arab Spring protests in 2011, the government continues to bar many human rights advocates and journalists from entering the country.

But one non-profit group is not only being welcomed into the tiny Gulf kingdom, it’s opening an office there. And it’s doing so with funding from Bahrain’s ruling monarchy.

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Syria Feature: How Russia Flew In Tons of Money to Keep Damascus Afloat (Linzer/Grabell/Larson)

The records of overflight requests were obtained by ProPublica. The flights occurred during a period of escalating violence in a conflict that has left tens of thousands of people dead since fighting broke out in March 2011.

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Bahrain Propaganda Special: Introducing the Regime's Best Friends in the US Congress

Owly Images

Members of Congress Jim Himes (second from left), Eni Faleomaveaga (third from left), and Marcia Fudge (third from right) with the President of Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority, Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa (fourth from right)

So four Representatives, two of them long-established supporters of the Bahraini regime, are currently visiting the Kingdom and providing photo opportunities and articles praising the "sweeping and broad" reforms of King Hamad.

Who's paying? Well, let's just say that if it is not the dime of the US taxpayers, let's just speculate that the regime's quarter and half-dollar might be involved, with a helping hand from the Bahrain American Council.

And what effect might this have on US foreign policy --- and the presentation of Bahrain in the US media --- as the political conflict continues?

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Bahrain Propaganda 101: Bringing the "Right" Youth Delegation to Washington

Ebtisam Khalifa Bahar of Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority --- ostensibly in an "independent" youth delegation, organised by American PR firm Qorvis and sent to Washingon --- challenges activist Maryam Al-Khawaja

Earlier this month, a group of three young Bahrainis arrived in Washington to talk about reform in the small Persian Gulf nation, which has been rocked by Arab Spring protests for the last year. The delegation, including an NGO worker and a tech entrepreneur, both Western-educated, represented "the leading voice for change and reform" in Bahrain, as an email message from one of the group's representatives put it.

But these weren't leaders of the protest movement that has challenged the country's ruling Sunni monarchy. They were members of a "youth delegation" put together by a top American public relations firm, Qorvis, which has been working with Bahrain to shore up the country's image in the United States.

The youth delegation's modestly pro-reform message was mixed with sharp criticism of the opposition in Bahrain and complaints about negative media coverage in the U.S.

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