A report by Paolo Fusi, director of IBI World London (IBI) and in partnership with Democracy Center For Transparency (DCT) revealed that both UAE and Saudi Arabia are paying for French journalists and academics for branding and whitewashing purposes. The report focused on Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot and their relation with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The report published recently suggested that senior French journalists received payments to circulate their agenda. It also revealed controversial links between the two journalists and individuals involved in anti-Semitism and controversial financial activities.
The Middle East autocratic regimes such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are known for their unending human rights violations and abuses. From spying on their citizens, eliminating free speech, committing war crimes in Yemen, to abusing Asian workers, both regimes have created an ugly image and brand for their petrodollar monarchies. For us in France and Europe, both countries are an example of draconian systems that don’t comply with our ethics and values. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and United Nations reports have all documented thousands of crimes by those monarchies.
Lobbying and Whitewashing
Despite the awful image of both monarchies, some French and European voices put themselves in an embarrassing position where they function as propaganda tools and brand management journalists to make the evil looks good and make the abusers look like angels.
The report states, “His name is Abdulrahim Ali. A Controversial figure involved in espionage on political activists and part of the intelligence service in Egypt. The whole story of the book “Qatar Papers” begins and ends with him – the real sponsor and inspirer of the whole project. He is an Egyptian Member of Parliament, elected on the party lists of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who came to power with a coup on July 2013. Ali’s career is due to foreign financiers. Those financiers, just over a year ago, convinced him to move to Paris. Here, Ali is fighting to sabotage the countries opposed to UAE and Saudi Arabia’s policies. He has gathered around him a team of journalists, most of whom are fired by their publishers – and leads a battle alongside them on the far right, against moderate Islam and inter-religious integration. Ali’s riding a book that seems based on facts and is instead a masterpiece of disinformation: a book written by French reporters Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, masterfully produced by the Great Wahhabi Propaganda Machine.”
Ali was involved in His TV show, Al Sandouq Al Aswad (The Black Box), was stopped after complaints against his behaviours of airing recorded interviews for political activists and journalists in Egypt.
“Qatar Papers Book”, paid by UAE to attack Qatar
In 2014 Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, wrote a book titled “Qatar, les secrets du coffre-fort” dedicated to undermining the image of Qatar and its impact in various international fields. In 2016, they continued their campaign focusing on Qatar with a new book titled “Nos trés cher emirs”, again, with the sole focus to attack Qatar and its image by linking it to International terrorism in the Middle East. In the spring of 2019, they published “Qatar Papers”.
Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot gained notoriety in 2004 when they were kidnapped during the Occupation War in Iraq. Already on that occasion, at the time of liberation, their story of imprisonment was not credible and was however controversial. Those who claimed that the two journalists lied were prosecuted, but were later acquitted of court.
In the course of their work as authors, Chesnot and Malbrunot have gained a reputation as polemicists, not as journalists and objective researchers. Before “Qatar Papers”, their previous book, “Nos trés chers Emirs”, was brought to Court by four of the people mentioned in its pages. The Tribunals, with their judgements, have so far shown that Chesnot and Malbrunot have lied;
Even in the journalistic activity, Georges Malbrunot, aimed at defending the President of Syria, Basher Al Assad, has incurred some statements which have proved to be profoundly false and which certainly have damaged his reputation.
At the same time, Georges Malbrunot has for years started collaborating in a campaign to end the international embargo against Iran. Malbrunot operates as a lobbyist in the framework of the alliance between the association called CIE Cercle Iran Économie and the Groupe Sénatorial d’Amitié France – Iran
Malbrunot’s articles, speeches, tweets, and many of his positions are providing a positive image of those repressive regimes. This can only indicate his full involvement in their propaganda machine.