Egyptian officials warned human rights barrister Amal Clooney that she risked arrest after identifying the same serious flaws in its judicial system that subsequently contributed to the conviction of three al-Jazeera journalists now jailed in Cairo.
In an interview with the Guardian after their appeal hearing this week, Clooney, a lawyer for one of the trio, said they were victims of the same flaws that she earmarked in a February 2014 report about Egyptian courts.
Written before Clooney became involved in the al-Jazeera case, officials deemed the report so controversial that they threatened her team with arrest should they have tried to present its findings inside Egypt.
“When I went to launch the report, first of all they stopped us from doing it in Cairo,” Clooney told the Guardian. “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.’”