Amal Clooney appointed special envoy by UK government

The human rights lawyer will help defend media freedom

epa07486545 Lebanese-British barrister Amal Clooney delivers a statement to media in the margins of the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Dinard, France, 05 April 2019. The gathering of Foreign Ministers in Dinard and Saint Malo on 05 and 06 April 2019 takes place ahead of the G7 Summit in Biarritz, from 25 to 27 August 2019.  EPA/THIBAULT VANDERMERSCH
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Lebanese-British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has been appointed as the UK government’s special envoy on media freedom.

Ms Clooney, who is on the legal team representing two Reuters journalists detained in Myanmar, will chair a panel of legal experts that will offer advice to governments who want to strengthen journalists' rights.

The London-based barrister said she was “honoured” at the appointment, which is an unpaid position.

"Through my legal work defending journalists I have seen first-hand the ways in which reporters are being targeted and imprisoned in an effort to silence them and prevent a free media," added Ms Clooney.

Ms Clooney has worked on several high-profile human rights cases including representing Noble Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad in her lawsuit against ISIS commanders.

Britain’s Foreign Office said 2018 had been the “deadliest year for journalists” with 99 killed.

Announcing the joint campaign to defend media freedom on Friday, foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said violence against journalists had reached “alarming levels.

“Amal Clooney’s leading work on human rights means she is ideally placed to ensure this campaign has real impact for journalists and the free societies who depend on their work,” he said.

“She will use her expertise to chair a panel comprising the world’s best legal minds to develop and promote legal mechanisms to prevent and reverse media abuses.”