CAIRO: Amal Clooney denied reports published by the Guardian that she had been denied entry to Egypt and threatened with arrest, in an Sunday article she co-authored for The World Post.
The Guardian reported Jan. 2 that Clooney had been threatened with arrest by Egyptian officials because of a report she wrote critical of Egypt’s treatment of Al Jazeera journalists arrested for “spreading false news.”
Clooney wrote, however, that she “was warned by experts in Egyptian affairs who were consulted on the launch” that she and her colleague “risked arrest if they launched the report in Cairo, in light of the criticisms made in the report and recent prosecutions for ‘crimes’ like insulting the judiciary, government or military in Egypt,” and as a result the organization chose to launch its report in London.
“This incident arose before Mrs. Clooney’s involvement in the Fahmy case, before the current president was in office and in a context entirely unrelated to this case,” she wrote, adding “The focus should be on the risks of free speech in today’s Egypt. We consider it a promising sign that President Sisi has stated that he would consider pardoning Mr. Fahmy.”
A delegation from Human Rights Watch was denied entry to Egypt in mid-August, days before the anniversary of the Rabaa al-Adaweya dispersal and the organization’s launch of a report critical of the dispersal. Human Rights Watch estimates more than 1,000 persons were killed in the dispersal, whereas Egyptian government figures state approximately 630 died.
Correction: The original article listed The Huffington Post as the original publisher of Amal Clooney’s piece.