Amal Clooney told the audience of a government communications summit in the United Arab Emirates Sunday that governments around the world have a duty to be vocal, consistent, principled and transparent about human rights.
The 38-year-old human rights avocate and attorney gave her address the opening of the annual event. The ruler of the emirate of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, was also scheduled to speak.
“The first piece of advice I would have from my experience is that governments need to be vocal about human rights,” said Clooney.
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) March 21, 2016
According to Fox News, Amal said countries face “an unprecedented human rights crisis” and urged that criticism should be carried out through dialogue, not prison terms, and that protests be met with “crowd control,” rather than bullets.
“My advice to you is not only to be vocal and consistent, but also to be principled in communications about human rights. The fourth suggestion I have is to be quick,” she said. “Governments must be prepared to be transparent and get their message out first.”
Perhaps Clooney was being diplomatic when she avoided talking about human rights abuses in Gulf Arab countries or the exorbitant toll on human life resulting from the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, in which the UAE is taking part. She did, however, mention countries like Sudan, Iran and North Korea, which are known for carrying out atrocities in her 12-minute speech.
— World Economic Forum (@wef) March 22, 2016
Amal Clooney, who is married to actor George Clooney, is known for taking on high-profile international cases, including Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohammed Fahmy, who spent more than a year in prison in Egypt before he and a fellow reporter from Al-Jazeera English received presidential pardons.