Amal Clooney has given her first U.S. television interview – opening up to NBC News’ Cynthia McFadden about her newfound celebrity and using it for a good cause in her role as a top human rights lawyer.
McFadden asked Clooney about her feelings toward celebrities, like Angelina Jolie, who use their time in the limelight to promote other causes.
“I think it’s wonderful that celebrities would choose to spend their time or energy or, you know, the spotlight that they have to raise awareness about these causes,” Clooney said. “I don’t really see myself in the same way because I’m still doing the same job that I used to do before.”
McFadden seemed to be alluding to Clooney’s actor husband, George Clooney. “If there’s more attention paid – for whatever reason – to that, then I think that’s good,” Clooney said. “I think there is a certain responsibility that comes with that. And you know, I think I’m exercising it in an appropriate manner by continuing to do this kind of work.”
Check out Amal Clooney at Work!
Earlier in the interview, Clooney talked about her efforts to free her client, the former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, and stated that “Democracy is dead in the Maldives.”
Clooney has met with several members of Congress, including Senator John McCain, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski and Senator Patrick Leahy to help her fight.
Clooney and her co-counsel Jared Genser are lobbying for Congress to impose potential sanctions against the Maldives government if they do not release Nasheed and other political prisoners.
“Literally, if there were an election now there would be no one to run against the president,” Clooney explained in her first U.S. network interview. “Every opposition leader is either behind bars or being pursued by the government through the courts.”
Nasheed became the country’s president in 2008, but was arrested, charged with terrorism and sentenced to 13 years in prison seven years later. Clooney and her co-counsel filed a case with the United Nations on April 30, 2015, “urging it to declare (Nasheed’s) detention arbitrary and in violation of international law.”