Why do some PR firms work with thugs?

For $5,000 a month, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations company represented the Syrian president and his family—as the nation’s army was killing civilians.

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In response to demonstrations, the Syrian army has detained and tortured its own citizens, and killed roughly 10,000 civilians (a charge Assad has denied). Journalists either are barred from the country or, if they do enter, are harassed by the government.

Human Rights watch said, “The crackdown has escalated into indiscriminate military assaults on residential areas and has led to a dire humanitarian situation.”

That behavior hasn’t stopped two public relations firms—one in the U.S. and another in Great Britain—from working with Al-Assad and his wife, Asma.

According to a report in The New York Times, the Assad family “paid the Washington public relations firm Brown Lloyd James $5,000 a month to act as a liaison between Vogue and the first lady.”

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