Amal Clooney Decries 'Legal Assault on Journalists' in Powerful United Nations Speech

The international human rights lawyer spoke on a panel highlighting the dangers facing journalists around the world

Amal Clooney continued to champion the work of journalists during her most recent appearance at the United Nations in New York City.

The international human rights lawyer, 41, spoke on a U.N. panel on Tuesday, highlighting the dangers facing journalists around the world, especially in complicated political climates.

“Our research targets laws being used every day to punish journalists for their work,” Clooney said of her work. “Laws like criminal libel, vague or overboard hate speech laws, so-called fake news laws, and laws that muzzle the media by imposing arbitrary conditions on ownership, accreditation and funding.”

Clooney then criticized leaders like President Donald Trump, who often blasts multiple media outlets for “fake news” and unfair coverage.

“Such laws are part of a rising drumbeat of legal assault on journalists and they are particularly open to abuse when senior officials vilify the media, creating a toxic environment in which individual journalists are incredibly vulnerable to attack,” Clooney said.

Amal Clooney
Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock

In July, she seemingly took aim at Trump while speaking at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London. In that speech, referenced the fourth president of the U.S., James Madison, who emphasized the importance of the free press early on in the nation’s history.

“Today, the country of James Madison has a leader who vilifies the media, making honest journalists all over the world more vulnerable to abuse,” Clooney said at the time.

The U.N. outing came just days before she and husband George Clooney will celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary on Friday after saying “I do” at a palace in Venice, Italy in 2014. A source tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue that the two are happier than ever.

“He appreciates his life with her,” says the source of the happy couple. “They are such a beautiful couple in many ways.”

The husband and wife are also proud parents to twins Ella and Alexander, 2, and have focused on giving their children as grounded a childhood as possible.

That means managing their high-profile careers, philanthropic endeavors and busy work schedules, including Amal’s United Nations’ appearance. George, on the other hand, is preparing to shoot his upcoming Netflix film, Good Morning, Midnight.

“They really try to take turns so one parent is always with the kids,” the source says.

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