Amal Alamuddin Risked Arrest in Egypt Over Criticism of Justice System: See What She Said

Amal Alamuddin
George Clooney's wife Amal Alamuddin recently risked getting arrested in Egypt, she says in a new interview -- get the details GC Images/Getty Images

George Clooney's gal isn't backing down. Amal Alamuddin recently risked getting placed behind bars after criticizing Egypt's judicial system.

The London-based barrister was threatened while she represented three Al Jazeera journalists who are currently in Egyptian jail for speaking out.

"When I went to launch the report, first of all they stopped us from doing it in Cairo," Alamuddin, 36, told The Guardian. "They said: 'Does the report criticize the army, the judiciary, or the government?' We said: 'Well, yes.' They said: 'Well then, you’re risking arrest.'"

In her report, Alamuddin pointed out Egypt's controlling government and suggested that officials shouldn't be allowed to choose judges for specific cases. Her request, however, was looked at as controversial.

"That recommendation wasn't followed, and we've seen the results of that in this particular case where you had a handpicked panel led by a judge who is known for dispensing brutal verdicts," she said. "And this one was no different."

Alamuddin's clients, Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed, and Mohamed Fahmy, all received stiff jail sentences (from seven to 10 years) back in June by judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata for endangering Egypt's national security. A new judge agreed to a retrial on New Year's Day, but Clooney's wife doesn't think the outcome will change.

"If the idea is: well, there were errors and now there's going to be a retrial, but then the retrial operates on the same basis as the original one, that doesn’t really mean much," Alamuddin told The Guardian. "…We have to continue and double our efforts to achieve his release in other ways. Unfortunately we have to conclude that we can’t rely on these Egyptian court processes to achieve a fair or swift result."

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