Leaked: British Think Tank Secretly Received £25m From Bahrain’s Royal Family

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, centre left, introduces his delegate members to Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, right, prior to their meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. Khalid Bin Ahmed is in Islamabad to his two-day official visit to hold talks with Pakistani top official to discuss the current middle east situation.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, pictured center left.

A British research institute has received £25 million in cash from the Bahraini government since 2011, leaked documents published in the Guardian show.
According to the report, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a global think tank specializing in researching political conflicts and armed movements, has secretly accepted £25 million in donations from the Manama government.

The documents also suggest that the Bahraini royal family has agreed to keep the majority of the donations secret. It is thought that the Manama government donated the large sum as a political lobbying mechanism. It is alleged that the secret Bahraini donations account for over a quarter of IISS’ income. Since the report has been leaked, many questions about the research credibility of IISS have been raised. Many have accused IISS of undermining its political independence and expressed their mistrust of the institute.

IISS has dismissed the reports as fabricated.

Bahrain is notorious for its crackdown on freedom of speech and other rights, after what was suspected to be an Iran-backed revolt of primarily Shia Bahrainis was crushed in 2011.

Since then, journalists, academics and citizens who speak out against the government have been systematically arrested and allegedly tortured while in prison for their dissent.


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