Amal Clooney – the tough-as-nails attorney who sets captives free

Cape Town - Long before she walked down the aisle with one of the most famous actors in the world, Amal Clooney was thrust into the spotlight and squarely placed under public scrutiny.

But the 41-year-old dark-haired beauty has repeatedly proven she’s more than just Mrs George Clooney.

There’s also no slowing down Amal, who’s mother to pigeon pair twins Alexander and Ella.

The Lebanese-British barrister has once again made headlines after successfully representing two Reuters journalists who were accused of breaking Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act by reporting on the Rohingya massacre, Daily Mail reports.

Before their arrest in December 2017, Wa Lone (33) and Kyaw Soe Oo (29) investigated the murders of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians in Rakhine State, npr.org writes.

The journalists penned a damning article that featured evidence from the perpetrators, witnesses and families of the victims.

Their arrest caused an international outcry over Myanmar’s progress towards democracy.

Then Amal stepped in.

In March last year she agreed to serve as counsel to Wa, Kyaw and Reuters.

"Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are being prosecuted simply because they reported the news," she said in a statement at the time.

"I have reviewed the case file and it’s clear beyond doubt that the two journalists are innocent and should be released immediately."

Amal Clooney

Just more than a year later came victory. On 7 May the two were released under presidential amnesty after spending 500 days behind bars.

"It’s inspiring to see a news organisation so committed to the protection of innocent men and the profession of journalism," Amal said after the ruling. "It’s been an honour to represent Reuters and the two journalists in this case and I hope that their release signals a renewed commitment to press freedom in Myanmar."

We look back at a few of Amal’s other successful international cases:

Mohamed Fahmy, a Canadian Al Jazeera journalist detained in Egypt

Mohamed Fahmy, along with two other Al Jazeera journalists, was arrested in December 2013 for allegedly collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood and reporting fake news.

In June 2014 he was convicted and sentenced to seven years behind bars, but the sentence was reduced to three years after a retrial, writes bbc.com.

Legal experts across the world condemned the charges and deemed it politically motivated.

Fahmy was freed in September 2015 after receiving a pardon from Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah-al-Sisi.

Amal Clooney

Mohamed Nasheed, former president of the Maldives

Nasheed was handed a 13-year sentence after being convicted of terrorism. Maldives’ first democratically elected leader was accused of ordering the detention of a judge and was forced, at gunpoint, to resign.

According to People.com, Amal argued his trial was a "politically motivated show".

In 2015 Nasheed was granted political asylum in England after undergoing spinal surgery in London.

Now she’s taking on Isis

After representing Nadia Murad, a former Isis sex slave who was kidnapped in 2014, and other members of Syria’s Yazidi minority who were sexually abused by Islamic State (IS) extremists, Amal is demanding justice for victims of rapes and other abuses perpetrated by IS extremists in Iraq and Syria.

During a UN Security Council meeting in New York City in April the human rights lawyer argued that if the UN’s most powerful body can’t prevent the occurrence of sexual violence in global wars "then at least it must punish it".

She was joined by Nobel Peace Prize laureates Nadia and Dr Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor who’s worked to end the use of rape and sexual violence as weapons of war.

"Nadia has been given many honours but she’d trade her Nobel Peace Prize in a heartbeat for what she really wants: The chance to face, in a court of law, those who murdered her mother and her brothers and those who brutally and repeatedly raped her," Amal said.

Sources: Dailymail.co.uk, Bloomberg.com, People.com, Stepfeed.com, Npr.org, Bbc.com

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