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British thinktank received £25m from Bahraini royals, documents reveal

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A British thinktank that bills itself as a global authority on military and diplomatic affairs has been accused of jeopardising its independence after leaked documents showed it has secretly received £25m from the Bahraini royal family, which has been criticised for its poor human rights record.

Confidential documents seen by the Guardian show that the country’s repressive rulers donated the sum to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) over the last five years.

Bahrain gained independence from Britain in 1971 and is ruled by the Khalifa dynasty, which has been castigated by campaigners for presiding over deteriorating human rights. During May’s visit to the country campaigners have again highlighted the Bahraini state’s crackdowns on journalists and pro-democracy activists.

The campaigners have criticised Bahrain’s rulers for dissolving the main political party, jailing and torturing activists, and persecuting opposition supporters and clerics.

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