Thursday, March 29, 2012

German Think Tank Booted Out of UAE

AP reports:
A think tank with links to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party said Thursday it is shutting its office in Abu Dhabi after officials there ordered that it end its activities in the United Arab Emirates.
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation's chairman, Hans-Gert Poettering, said no "comprehensible reasons" were given for the decision, which he described as unexpected and sudden.
The organization was one of several pro-democracy and human rights groups targeted in a separate recent crackdown by the Egyptian government, an episode that strained relations with Berlin.
The think tank that was kicked out of the UAE, Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), says that its offices abroad are in charge of more than 200 projects in more than 120 countries.  Its English page says that 96.8% of its funds come from public remittances, while 2.7% are derived from admission charges and miscellaneous revenues.  In addition, private revenues account for another 0.5% of its funds.

Here is a bit more on KAS's problems in Egypt:
Late last year, prosecutors in Egypt said the foundation [KAS] and 16 other groups from the United States and elsewhere were operating without licenses and seized documents from them in raids.
They charged 43 Egyptian and foreign staff at the non-governmental organizations with receiving illegal foreign funding. Their trial is ongoing. Two staff of the German foundation have left Egypt.
It is also worth checking out the Director of National Intelligence's (DNI) Open Source Center's German Think Tank Guide, which includes information about KAS.