It seems fame is currency in the fight against ISIS
Doughty Street barrister Amal Clooney has told the press it’s a “good thing” her celebrity status has attracted more media coverage on her legal fight against ISIS.
The human rights specialist is currently acting for Nadia Murad. Once a prisoner and slave to the terrorist organisation, Murad believes ISIS leaders should be held accountable for their slaughter of Yazidis, a faith group most notable in Iraq. Together, the two women are hoping to bring ISIS before the International Criminal Court, The Hague, to be held to account for this genocide.
While the fight against terrorism is of itself a worthy cause, it appears Clooney is grateful her marriage to Hollywood actor George has helped shine a light on her case and the Yazidis’ plight more generally. Speaking to the BBC’s Fiona Bruce, the junior barrister said:
I think if there are more people who now understand what’s happening about the Yazidis and ISIS and if there can be some action that results from that those clients then I think it’s a really good thing to give that case that extra publicity that it might get.
The Oxford-educated former Sullivan & Cromwell lawyer does, however, realise that celebrity status can only get you so far. “If you don’t have a good case and don’t have a good message, then shining a light on it is not going to get you very far”, she said.
While some remain unconvinced by Clooney (she has been called, among other things, an attention-seeker, a cheek-sucker and a knicker-flasher by certain sections of the national press), her work is admirable.
Speaking to new magazine 1843 — in an issue in which both Clooney and Murad are the cover stars — the Doughty Street-er admitted she has feared for her safety because of her human rights campaign. She recalled a work trip to Beirut when Israel bombed the airport the day after she arrived, and she was forced to live in a fortified compound with the threat of assassination hanging over her head. “There were times when I would look at parked cars with trepidation”, she said.
Now some months into her pregnancy, Clooney is expected to be more “responsible” when it comes to her travel choices. Speaking to Paris Match, her husband said:
Amal will no longer go to Iraq and she’ll avoid places where she knows she isn’t welcome.
Watch the interview with the BBC’s Fiona Bruce in full here (starts 16m:30s).
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