Amal Clooney has accused U.S. President Donald Trump of endangering journalists’ lives with his words and actions.
The 40-year-old human rights lawyer was honoured as the 2018 Global Citizen of the Year at the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York on Wednesday night (05Dec18) and delivered a fiery speech directed at Trump, 72.
Citing journalists she represents who are imprisoned in Myanmar, she said she felt the real world consequences of the President’s broadsides against journalists in the U.S. in her work defending the victims of oppressive regimes.
“The chilling effect is real, and it has already been felt not only in Myanmar, but further afield,” she fumed. “And sadly, similar incidents abound in autocratic regimes from North Korea to the Philippines to Hungary, Turkey and Brazil. The U.S. president has given such regimes a green light and labelled the press in this country the enemy of the people.”
She then went on to highlight the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally tortured and killed in Istanbul, Turkey – allegedly by agents of the Saudi Arabian government.
Warning those attending the event, who included her husband George, about the threat to press freedom, she added: “I have seen journalists and opposition figures ruthlessly targeted so that they can no longer criticise leaders.”
As well as Amal’s Global Citizen award, UNCA prizes were given out to correspondents in recognition of their coverage of United Nations aid and field operations over the past year.