Clooney: I was threatened with arrest in Egypt

Clooney: I was threatened with arrest in Egypt

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, wife of actor George Clooney, has said she was threatened with arrest when trying to publish a report into Egypt's judicial system.

Amal Clooney, who compiled the report for the International Bar Association before acting for one of three Al-Jazeera journalists jailed in the country, told the Guardian she recommended Egypt's judiciary be more independent of the government.

The British-based barrister said: "When I went to launch the report, first of all they stopped us from doing it in Cairo.

"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'."

Journalists Mohammed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohammed were arrested in December 2013 after the overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member and were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in prison last June.

Earlier this week an Egyptian court ordered a retrial for the three men but Mrs Clooney, who acts for Mr Fahmy, said it "doesn't really mean much".

She added the men were victims of a system where officials could hand-pick judges.

"We've seen the results of that in this particular case where you had a hand-picked panel led by a judge who is known for dispensing brutal verdicts. And this one is no different," she told the paper.

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