Amal Clooney is not letting Donald Trump off the hook when it comes to the scary reality journalists are facing around the world.
Accepting the award for 2018’s Global Citizen of the Year at the United Nations Correspondents Association Awards on Wednesday night, the human rights lawyer spoke about violence against journalists from autocratic regimes like the one in Myanmar.
“The chilling effect is real, and it has already been felt, not only in Myanmar but further afield. And sadly similar examples abound in autocratic regimes from North Korea to the Philippines, to Hungary, Turkey and Brazil,” Clooney said.
She then added of Trump, “The U.S. president has given such regimes a green light. And labelled the press in this country ‘the enemy of the people.’
“And, of course, two months ago a Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, walked into a consulate in Istanbul and was brutally tortured to death. In many of the cases that I have worked on, too, I have seen journalists and opposition figures ruthlessly targeted so that they can no longer criticize leaders.”
Clooney attended the awards dinner alongside husband George Clooney, according to the Evening Standard, but said her presence at the event was meant to honour “the journalists being recognized for groundbreaking reporting this year.”
“You are being jailed at a higher rate than ever,” she said. “And you are dying while covering wars, not just because you walk, unarmed, into some of the most dangerous places on earth. But because you are being targeted for exposing crimes committed in war. For speaking the truth that perpetrators find the most difficult to hear.”