Egypt denies threatening Amal Clooney with arrest

The Lebanese-British human rights lawyer did not detail the source of the alleged warning

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Egypt has denied a claim by human rights lawyer Amal Clooney that she had been warned she risked arrest last year if she released a report in Cairo critical of the judiciary.

“The Egyptian authorities did not prevent the presence of the named person [Amal Clooney in Egypt] or take any measures to prevent her presence,” an Interior Ministry statement carried by the country’s Al Ahram newspaper read on Monday.

“There is nothing that prevents her [Clooney] from entering Egypt at any time,” the statement added.

In an article published on Friday, Clooney, who married Hollywood star George Clooney last year, told the Guardian newspaper that the warning had stopped her going ahead with a Cairo launch for the February 2014 report for the International Bar Association.

On Sunday, Interior Ministry spokesman Hani Abdel Latif questioned the source of the alleged warning.

“She should say exactly who said that,” Abdel Latif told AFP. “Why not specify from the start who told her that?”

“We have nothing against her,” he said.

In the comments published by the Guardian on Saturday, Clooney did not detail the source of the alleged warning.

“When I went to launch the report, first of all they stopped us from doing it in Cairo,” Clooney told the daily.

“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,’” she added.

The report, based on a fact-finding mission made in mid-2013, warned about the wide powers that ministers had over judges and highlighted a record of selective prosecutions and flaws that Clooney said later contributed to the convictions of three Al-Jazeera journalists.

The rights lawyer, who married Hollywood star George Clooney in a lavish Venice ceremony last year, is on the defense team for one of the three journalists.

(With AFP)

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