Hill & Knowlton Spins Repression

The Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Maldives, Ahmed Shaheed, has confirmed that Hill & Knowlton is still helping the government polish its image. "They are observing political advancements and other changes. They occasionally check these things," said Shaheed. "They are doing several reviews for the government. ... Very recently two members of its staff were in Maldives," said Shaheed. The government of the Maldives is facing increasing criticism following the arrest of over 200 pro-democracy demonstrators in May and the trial of the chairperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson Mohamed Nasheed on charges of "sedition" and "terrorism." The Deputy Chairman of the British Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission, Ben Rogers, said that "it seems rather questionable to me that the Hill and Knowlton people should be acting for such a government." The company is reportedly on a retainer of $20,000 per month.