The Egyptian government has released a statement saying it never threatened international human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney with arrest after the London barrister claimed in an interview that Egypt warned her of incarceration after she criticized its judicial system. Read on for further details.
Egypt is disputing a claim made by Amal Alamuddin Clooney that she’s been threatened with arrest following a report she submitted to the International Bar Association pointing out several flaws in the country’s judicial system last February 2014.
The report Clooney submitted was in line with her continuing defense of her client Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy, one of three al-Jazeera journalists who were detained and convicted in December 2013 for allegedly spreading false information and aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood in what is claimed to be a politically motivated case.
The report was released in Cairo, where Clooney and her team were warned of the risk of arrest if the report was made public. However, Egypt’s ministry spokesperson Hani Abdel Latif categorically denied this claim, questioning the source of the arrest threat.
“She should say exactly who said that,” Abdel Latif told the AFP in an interview, as published on Yahoo! News. “Why not specify from the start who told her that?”
“We have nothing against her,” the spokesperson added.
Earlier this weekend, Clooney talked about her case and her client, particularly about the warning she received against releasing her report.
“When I went to launch the report, first of all they stopped us from doing it in Cairo,” Clooney said. “They said: ‘Does the report criticise the army, the judiciary, or the government?’ We said: ‘Well, yes.’ They said: ‘Well then, you’re risking arrest.'”
The report in question detailed her conclusions based on a fact-finding mission she conducted in Egypt in 2013, pointing out the uncontested powers Egyptian officials have over the judiciary, particularly in the appointment of judges in politicized cases.
These flaws in the judicial system have disheartened her hopes in the quest for a retrial for her client Fahmy. Instead, she is focusing on lobbying for Fahmy to be deported based on a November 2014 decree made by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian government has released a statement saying Clooney, who also happens to be Hollywood A-lister George Clooney’s new bride, has not been banned from entering the country. However, the statement made no mention of whether she would be free to leave it again if she does.
Watch this report showing how Amal Alamuddin Clooney is more badass than we thought:
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Fred Hsu