Bahrain Hires DC PR Firm to Repair Post-Crackdown Reputation

Firm's First Report Condemns Doctors Without Borders

Backed by invading Saudi troops, the Bahraini regime quickly and violently crushed pro-democracy protesters earlier this year, and has continued with a campaign of repression against those who were involved. It seems to be keeping large portions of the population off the streets, but all that brutality, even if it hasn’t been widely publicized, looks really bad, right?

Undaunted by this the Bahraini government decided to avoid doing anything rash, like allowing free elections or ending the torture of detainees. Instead they just decided to hire a PR firm.

The DC-based PR firm, Qorvis Communications, boasts of having the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia along with big companies like Adobe and as customers. A big company, to be sure, but can $40,000 a month plus expenses really pave over one of the Arab Spring’s violent failures?

Its hard to say, but the company certainly seems to be trying its best, with its first statement to the press angrily condemning Doctors Without Borders. The group was recently involved in the crackdown when Bahraini forces raided and closed one of their offices because they were treating injured protesters. The statement lashes the high profile humanitarian group for treating Bahrainis “without any license issued by the health ministry.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.