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Amal Alamuddin and her work

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Feb 13 2015, 20:11

Noone. Sometimes you do best not to analyse word by word. It is hard but sometimes we need to know when to stop. Let's stop now and go back on Topic. thank you.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Feb 13 2015, 20:14

If Amal Clooney wins the 'Hooded Man' case, the embarrassment for the UK would be huge

The human rights lawyer is fighting on behalf of a group of Irish men who claim to have been beaten, starved and thrown from helicopters by British Forces


Amal Clooney is about to take on one of her biggest legal challenges yet - accusing the British government of committing torture in Troubles-era Northern Ireland, then then lying about it to the European Court of Human Rights.

The accusations will be levelled in a high-profile case due to come before the Strasbourg Court. The outcome could rewrite the law books and help to combat the use of torture globally.
Here’s what happened. In August 1971 the UK authorities arrested and interned hundreds of men in Northern Ireland. Fourteen were selected for “special treatment" in a specially-built interrogation centre at a British Army camp.
The men claim they were subjected to “five techniques” of hooding, stress positions, white noise, sleep deprivation and deprivation of food and water - combined with brutal beatings and death threats. Some were also reportedly thrown from helicopters while their heads were covered with hoods.
Allegations soon emerged of abuse. In the same year, Amnesty International sent its first ever research mission to the UK to investigate, interviewing the men and finding some of them still black and blue with bruises.
What Amal Clooney - who has just joined the legal team representing the surviving men - must prove, is that the abuse amounted to torture, rather than the lesser category of “inhuman and degrading treatment”. The distinction is crucial.

The original case was brought by the Irish government on behalf of the men, the first time one European state had brought another before the Strasbourg court. In 1978 the court concluded that the “five techniques” inflicted on the men constituted inhuman and degrading treatment in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, but not torture.
The judgment has since become a cornerstone of international human rights law. So much so, that when lawyers in the United States Attorney General’s office prepared legal advice to pave the way for the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation programme”, they reached for the Ireland v UK case, arguing that its judgment allowed “an aggressive interpretation as to what amounts to torture”.
With the publication in December of the Senate Committee’s summary Torture Report, the world has seen where that legal reasoning led: the brutal torture of detainees around the world and irreparable damage to the reputation of the US.
All this came to pass, it is now alleged, because the British government of the time decided to withhold documents from the European Court of Human Rights, rather than be reviled internationally for the torture of its own citizens in Northern Ireland. [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Twelve of the original "hooded men" who are being represented by Amal Clooney
The “hooded men” case is now being brought back to court by Ireland’s government after material was uncovered in the British national archives revealing that the UK withheld crucial evidence from the European Court during the original hearing.
The files show that the British government considered the “special treatment” as torture and yet senior Ministers sanctioned its use in Northern Ireland, both of which they had denied before the European Court.
Amal Clooney and the rest of the hooded men’s legal team now must show that the UK only succeeded in persuading the court to absolve it of torturing its own citizens by actively misleading judges.
More serious charges could scarcely be made: torture, and lying to the European Court. If Ireland, the hooded men and Amal Clooney succeed with this case, the implications are potentially huge.
Success in Strasbourg would be very embarrassing for the UK government. But thanks to Amal Clooney, it could also set a new legal precedent which would hinder the use of such torture techniques in the future, and after all these decades, such a precedent couldn't be more welcome

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by LornaDoone on Sat Feb 14 2015, 21:39

Was this during all those bombings by the IRA?  I remember hearing about all that turmoil in N. Ireland as a kid.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by lelacorb on Sat Feb 14 2015, 23:02

Amal: a foot in so many shoes, so much smoke and no roast meat!

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Joanna on Sat Feb 14 2015, 23:26

LornaDoone wrote:Was this during all those bombings by the IRA?  I remember hearing about all that turmoil in N. Ireland as a kid.


Yes that's right LornaDoone.....In the 70's.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Katiedot on Mon Feb 16 2015, 03:03

There's a big article in the Sunday Times about how the 'new IRA' are stepping up their terror campaign again.  Funded by sales of contraband cigarettes.  Sigh.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by LornaDoone on Mon Feb 16 2015, 03:38

Sad to hear that katie.  So much strife in the world.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Feb 26 2015, 21:26

Letter today from Doughty Street Chambers

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Joanna on Thu Feb 26 2015, 21:36

party animal - not! wrote:Letter today from Doughty Street Chambers

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[ltr]Egypt Should Send Canadian Journalist Mohamed Fahmy Home
Posted: 02/26/2015 3:26 pm EST Updated: 33 minutes ago[/ltr]
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Mohamed Fahmy was due to begin his retrial in an Egyptian criminal court two days ago on charges of terrorism and broadcasting "false news." But when the court convened, the judges postponed the new trial to Mar. 8. This is when Mr. Fahmy, a journalist who has committed no crime and is currently on bail, must next return to the defendants' soundproof cage.
Earlier this month Egypt's highest court issued its reasons for overturning the original conviction and sentence in the case. The Court of Cassation's decision recognized that the original trial was unfair, as I have previously explained. The judges noted the catalogue of due process violations that revealed a biased and unjust approach by the authorities. The court also considered that Fahmy's conviction for acts of "terrorism" was nonsensical since he was not even charged with threatening or using violence. It concludes that the trial court judgment was "flimsy and based on conflicting reasoning that undermines it and justifies overturning it on appeal."
Since then, documents have become available showing that even the prosecution has criticized the judgment of the trial court -- presided over by a judge known as the "executioner" -- that convicted Mr. Fahmy and his colleagues. The prosecutor's statement to Egypt's highest court on the appeal argued that there was insufficient evidence to sustain the charges.
First, it concludes that there was no evidence to show that Mr. Fahmy and others were "members of a group founded in contravention of the law." And it goes on to say in relation to the other charges that since "the judgment provides nothing to show that the news itself is false, or to show that the appellant knew of its falsehood, it is wanting for not establishing the elements of the crime of which the appellant was found guilty." The prosecutor goes on to criticize due process violations in the trial and the handling of evidence and concludes that "the appealed judgment, to the extent that it relies on such invalid evidence is itself invalid." The fact that this is the position taken by the prosecution -- the entity that brought the charges in the first place -- in itself shows the absurdity of the charges and subsequent trial process.
The outcome of the retrial, and its timeframe, remain uncertain. But more importantly, Mr. Fahmy should not be subjected to this process at all. Earlier this month Fahmy and his family celebrated the return of Fahmy's former colleague and co-defendant, Peter Greste, to Australia under the terms of a decree allowing foreign prisoners to be transferred to their home state. Mr. Fahmy is eligible for transfer under this same law -- and the retrial process that is now in motion does not change that.
Mr. Fahmy is a Canadian national who was subjected to the same unfair trial process as Mr. Greste. Fahmy was told by high-level Egyptian officials that, as a dual Egyptian-Canadian national, he must give up his Egyptian citizenship to guarantee a transfer. He had no choice but to do so in order to secure his freedom.
Since then, the Egyptian government took steps to implement his release. They publicized Fahmy's nationality renunciation in their Official Gazette. The Canadian government also received assurances from the Egyptian government that a decisionhad been taken to release him and that his departure from the country was imminent. This includes assurances made by officials from the Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry and Interior Ministry, according to the Canadian officials. Such assurances led the Canadian government to declare that Mr. Fahmy's release was "imminent." But it did not happen.
So what did Canada do? It published a short written statement by a junior minister calling the situation "unacceptable" and asking for Fahmy's "full and immediate release" and "consideration of a general amnesty." Such sheepish whimpers are woefully inadequate when it comes to enforcing an agreement reached with a sovereign state regarding a citizen's release from detention. Canada should now begin real advocacy to ensure that Egypt honors its agreement to release Mr. Fahmy from Egypt. There is no legal impediment to his immediate transfer to Canada. Yet callsfrom Canadian society and politicians for Prime Minister Harper to pick up the phone to personally intervene in the case have so far fallen on deaf ears.
Fahmy's calls on Al Jazeera for support have also been rebuffed. It is however hoped that Al Jazeera English -- Mr. Fahmy's employer when he was arrested -- will refrain from taking any action that might undermine his bid for freedom.
I now plan to visit Egypt to meet with my client and discuss the status of the case with Canadian and Egyptian officials. Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has acknowledged my request and my visa application is currently being processed. I hope that such a visit can lead to a swift and complete resolution of this case.
Amal Clooney
Counsel for Mohamed Fahmy
An Arabic version of this statement is available here.

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EgyptEgypt NewsMohamed FahmyMohamed Fahmy EgyptMohamed Fahmy Al JazeeraMohamed Fahmy JournalistAl JazeeraAl Jazeera EnglishCanadaCanada FahmyStephen HarperStephen Harper FahmyAmal ClooneyAmal Clooney FahmyWorldPost Middle EastWorldPost AmericasEgypt Censorship
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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Feb 26 2015, 21:57

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Not sure which publication this is, but the article is by Associated Press and Amal makes clear the Canadian Government's lack of action



Lawyer for Al-Jazeera journalist blasts Canadian government

TORONTO — The lawyer for a Canadian Al-Jazeera journalist is blasting the Canadian government for not doing enough to secure his release from Egypt.
Journalist Mohamed Fahmy is out on bail awaiting retrial after more than a year behind bars in Egypt on terrorism-related charges.
Lawyer Amal Clooney said in a statement Thursday that Canada's "sheepish whimpers are woefully inadequate." Clooney said calls for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to pick up the phone to personally intervene have "so far fallen on deaf ears."
Clooney also said the Canadian government received assurances Fahmy would be released and when that didn't happen, it merely issued a short statement by a junior minister calling for his release.
Carl Vallee, a Harper spokesman, says Harper has personally raised the case with the Egyptian president.


Last edited by Nicky80 on Thu Feb 26 2015, 22:03; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text)

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Donnamarie on Thu Feb 26 2015, 22:41

"Sheepish whimpers".  What's going on with the Canadian government's pitiful inaction? Could there be something political involved that is keeping Harper from more aggressively securing  Fahmy's release?  Maybe kat19 can shed some light.

Fahmy's family must be totally frustrated.  This poor guy had already renounced his Egyptian citizenship.  After the Canadian government has treated him so shabbily he  may not want to go back to Canada.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Joanna on Thu Feb 26 2015, 23:53

Nicky....I know this thread was started before
The Wedding....but is it possible to change the 
title to Amal Clooney and her work ?

Just a random thought.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by kat19 on Fri Feb 27 2015, 02:10

Donnamarie wrote:"Sheepish whimpers".  What's going on with the Canadian government's pitiful inaction? Could there be something political involved that is keeping Harper from more aggressively securing  Fahmy's release?  Maybe kat19 can shed some light.

Fahmy's family must be totally frustrated.  This poor guy had already renounced his Egyptian citizenship.  After the Canadian government has treated him so shabbily he  may not want to go back to Canada.

There really isn't a logical explanation for why he hasn't called yet. There have been many high profile politicians and leaders of the opposing political parties here including Justin Trudeau, his liberal opponent, who have made public statements on Fahmy's behalf and even brought it up in Parliament asking the PM directly why he hasn't called yet and why Fahmy is not home yet but the Harper government just keeps releasing vague statements. 

Harper is a staunch Conservative, I'll be frank I'm not a fan of his at all. And there are many who are speculating that it really is just racism. If Mohammad Fahmy's name was John Smith, he'd probably be home by now. But again, that's just speculation and the opinion of many here who are familiar with Harper's patterns. But if you take racism out of it, the only logical explanation is that he just doesn't care. 

Public pressure has been mounting here and the Canadian media has been very on top of this too but he hasn't seemed to have moved, although there were reports today out of Egypt that the PM's office may be trying to arrange a call now. You just have to shake your head though at the complete neglect they've been displaying up till now. 

At this point, I'd only believe he called once Fahmy is back in Canada.  Hopefully this resolves soon.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Donnamarie on Fri Feb 27 2015, 03:18

kat if racism is at play here that explains a lot.  Amal must be aware of this.  I hope her visit and meetings with the Egyptian officials will have some serious positive impact.  Maybe she'll even have something clever up her sleeve tho I don't know what the hell that would be.   Thanks much for the update.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by kat19 on Fri Feb 27 2015, 04:05

Donnamarie wrote:kat if racism is at play here that explains a lot.  Amal must be aware of this.  I hope her visit and meetings with the Egyptian officials will have some serious positive impact.  Maybe she'll even have something clever up her sleeve tho I don't know what the hell that would be.   Thanks much for the update.

Again, the racism is just speculation though, I just want to be clear on that. It could be anything really, but if it's something else the public certainly isn't privy to it. If there's something legitimate that is making Harper hesitate, it hasn't been conveyed very well. 

The whole dual national argument was pretty much made void once he renounced his Egyptian citizenship, so it makes no sense for them to hold onto that line of justification for their inaction. He's only a Canadian national now. 

I guess we just have to wait and see how this plays out.

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Current situation with Fahmy ahead of retrial on March 8th

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Mar 05 2015, 09:20

Here's an article about the state of play on the case......

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Joanna on Thu Mar 05 2015, 12:31

party animal - not! wrote:Here's an article about the state of play on the case......

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Photo essay: Mohamed Fahmy, home but not free

The Egyptian-Canadian journalist is enjoying his long-awaited release from prison in Cairo, but he’s not home free yet



Aaron Hutchins

March 4, 2015





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Mohamed Fahmy drinks a beer in Cairo, Egypt on March 1. The Egyptian media portrayed him as a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, but his secular lifestyle—including drinking—would not mix with their ideology. (David Degner/Getty Images)

After 412 days in an Egyptian prison, Mohamed Fahmy is trying to catch up on lost time with his fiancée, Marwa Omara. That includes everything from the mundane—going out for a Heineken in the evening—to once-in-a-lifetime moments, such as finding the perfect wedding rings. From morning until night, they almost never leave each other’s sides.

“We were battling for an extra three or four minutes during the prison visits,” Fahmy says in an interview from Cairo. “In prison, you’re always trying to think of positive things you’ll do when you’re outside. This was one of them, to go buy the rings.”

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Providing they can wade through the bureaucracy, Fahmy says he and Marwa Omara will marry next week: ‘I hope.’ (David Degner/Getty Images)

Initially arrested in December 2013 and sentenced to seven years in prison on terror-related charges, Fahmy was released on bail last month.  A journalist with Al Jazeera and a dual citizen of Canada and Egypt, he hoped to be home in Canada by now. Instead, the Egyptian court ordered a second trial for his case.

So, for all the evenings at restaurants or mornings spent at his family’s Cairo home, Fahmy is far from home-free. His bail conditions include checking in with local police every day between noon and 3 p.m. He is constantly on the phone with embassy officials, journalists and lawyers working on his two-pronged strategy: deportation, and defence in court. Although he has yet to meet Amal Clooney, the high-profile human-rights lawyer advocating for his release, they speak most days.

Other everyday moments: visiting the doctor, working on a book manuscript, buying a new laptop. And tonight: “We’re going to go clothes shopping, because I’ve gained so much weight in prison.” One of his barometers for public opinion is how he’s treated on the streets of Cairo. “Sometimes people just come and hug me. It’s unbelievable,” he says. “Sometimes people want to take a photo with me.”

For all the support from complete strangers, Fahmy awaits the chance to return to Canada. “I would leave without a suitcase.”

A Day in the Life: Photographs by David Degner/Reportage by Getty Images


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Stuck in Cairo for now, Fahmy is framed by images of slain Egyptian journalists killed covering the unrest.

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More waiting — as Fahmy and Omara hang out in a coffee shop in a bid to catch the midnight interview on BBC.

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Fahmy says he spends a significant amount of these days consulting with lawyers and journalists. “I’m always on the phone.”

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Here, Fahmy talks with a journalist for BBC Arabic before an on-air interview with BBC English.

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… waiting for the interview to begin with BBC News.

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Dinner out is a luxury after prison food — the fish and shrimp far different from lentil soup.

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‘We were battling for an extra three or four minutes during the prison visits,’ Fahmy says of time with Omara. 

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For all the evenings at restaurants — here a late-night burger in a McDonald’s — he’s far from home-free. 

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Every day, Fahmy must go to his local police station and sign in between noon and 3 p.m.

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Fahmy takes a minute to clear his head from the congested Cairo. ‘I would love to just get out of town and go to the beach, but this police thing keeps me here.’ 

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Donnamarie on Thu Mar 05 2015, 18:05

There was a similar article last week I think in the NY Times (or the Washington Post) about the other defendant Baher Mohamed.  It mentioned Fahmy in one sentence and how Amal is defending him.  But the gist of the article was how welcomed it was for Bager to be out of jail but there is this huge cloud hanging over him since he doesn't know his fate.  He has children, one who was born while he was in prison.  Baher wants to be happy but he feels so unsure how long he will be free that he's going through all kinds of emotions.  I'm sure Fahmy has similar feelings.  It's great to be free but how long will it last.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by party animal - not! on Sun Mar 08 2015, 11:45

The trial's been postponed again..........!!!

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The nearer the Presidential elections get, the more likely they'll be freed......said a cynic...........

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Nicky80 on Sun Mar 08 2015, 12:10

Merged threads

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Donnamarie on Sun Mar 08 2015, 14:17

I wonder if Amal went to Egypt yet to meet with officials?  Thought she was going soon after she criticized the Canadian government for their woeful lack of action.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Sun Mar 08 2015, 14:34

No news reports, no pictures of her there. Lots of telephone and video conferencing going on, I assume.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by melbert on Sun Mar 08 2015, 19:00

Last I read she's still waiting on her visa.  I wonder if in addition to the two witnesses not showing up, they're postponing the trial to wait for Amal to get there after she gets her visa?

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by party animal - not! on Sun Mar 08 2015, 19:41

No, I'm not sure the plaintiffs have that sort of influence. And if the witnesses had turned up, she would have given instructions to her fellow lawyer I imagine. No doubt she was warned this might happen.

Here's another case she's involved in now and taking it up to UN level

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British lawyer Amal Clooney takes Gloria Arroyo's case to UN

International human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney has filed a case against the Philippine government before the United Nations over the continued detention of former president and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
 
Atty. Modesto Ticman, one of Arroyo’s lawyers, confirmed that Clooney filed the case on Feb. 26 before the UN  Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), a body under the UN Commission on Human Rights.
 
“The case concerns Arroyo’s protracted detention by the Philippine government despite her age, health condition and the court’s continued denial to grant her bail,” Ticman told GMA News Online in an interview Sunday.
 
In filing the case, Clooney wants the UN to persuade the Philippine government to release Arroyo, who has been under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City for a plunder case in connection with the alleged misuse of P366-million in intelligence funds of the state lottery firm during her presidency.
 
She is undergoing treatment for a spine disease.
 
Since Arroyo’s case has been designated as a special procedure, Ticman said all communications between the UN and Philippine government on the matter will remain confidential.
 
But should the Philippine government ignore the UN’s appeal, Arroyo’s case will then be treated as a regular procedure that will be heard by the UN Human Rights Council.
 
“Under the special procedure, even us (Arroyo’s lawyers), won’t have access to the UN and Philippine government’s communications. But when it becomes a regular procedure, we can release documents and other information about the case,” he said.
 
International attention
 
Ticman said Arroyo is elated that Clooney, who is married to Hollywood actor George Clooney, has decided to elevate her case to the United Nations.
 
“She (Arroyo) appreciates what Atty. Amal did. She’s happy because Atty. Amal, who has international stature, is concerned about her plight. Now her case has gotten the attention of the UN and the international community,” he said.
 
The 37-year-old barrister specializes in international law, criminal law, human rights, and extradition cases. Among her prominent clients are Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Timoshenko. She has been named a visiting professor on human rights by the Columbia Law School in New York. 
 
Lawyer Larry Gadon, another member of Arroyo’s legal team, said Clooney’s interest in Arroyo’s case began in 2013. The British barrister even visited the former President at VMMC to see her condition.
 
“It was around that time we found out that a case may be filed before the UN for the violation of Mrs. Arroyo’s human rights. We’ve been in touch with Mrs. Clooney since the second quarter of 2014,” he said. 
 
'Victim of political persecution'
 
Their correspondence increased in frequency from November 2014 onwards after a brief lull when the British lawyer was busy preparing for her wedding.
 
To build Arroyo’s case, Ticman said Clooney asked Arroyo’s legal team to send documents and other information concerning her plunder case, which they immediately sent to her.
 
According to Gadon, Clooney is convinced the former president is a victim of political persecution after studying her case. For one, the British lawyer pointed out that it was only Arroyo who has not been allowed by the Sandiganbayan to post bail even though her other co-accused in the plunder suit have been granted the same privilege.
 
Asked what impact the UN’s intervention will have on Arroyo’s pending case in the Sandiganbayan, Gadon said: “Sana magising ang ating mga justices sa ginagawa nilang panggigipit kay Mrs. Arroyo. Mrs. Clooney has already brought international attention to the case by filing it before the UN.” — JDS, GMA News


Last edited by Nicky80 on Sun Mar 08 2015, 19:45; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text)

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Tue Mar 10 2015, 01:06

I don't think I want to read this, just judging from what I know about the Arroyo case already. So somebody tell me that Amal is just involved in some special aspect of the case that has to due with the venue or jurisdiction or something, and not actually defending this woman for looting the national treasury of a nation of mostly poor people to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Otherwise, she just moved ever closer to being entirely in the 'negative' column for me.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by melbert on Tue Mar 10 2015, 01:21

My understanding Way2 is that Amal wants her moved someplace to take better care of her due to her "illness".  It seems a lot of Amal's clients are "ill" and being treated unfairly...

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by party animal - not! on Tue Mar 10 2015, 01:45

Yep, the common thread in the Tymoshenko, Fahmy and Arroyo cases is that they're being treated unfairly while awaiting legal ramifications of their individual cases isn't it?

This is aside from all the big cases she has like the UN investigation by Ben Emmerson into drones of course, and the Foreign Office/UNICEF committee on FGM,and others where there is no one individual's name to catch the headline eg Armenian genocide, Elgin Marbles......etc etc

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Tue Mar 10 2015, 01:59

Well, still haven't read it, or anything else about her involvement except the headline. But if you look at the history of government corruption in the Philippines, just about everybody who gets arrested or indicted immediately gets "ill" and therefore gets held in a hospital, not jail.

My understanding (from conversations with my nephew's wife, whose family is from the Philippines), is that Arroyo was due to be granted bail at one point, or at least a hearing for it, but new evidence came in that showed the extent and depth of her 'alleged' crime, so it wasn't granted.

Amal is gathering an interestingly eclectic group of clients. Collectively -- with the exception of a few good guys -- they've killed, plundered, or betrayed a pretty big slice of the world.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Alisonfan on Tue Mar 10 2015, 21:50

Way2Old4Dis wrote:
Amal is gathering an interestingly eclectic group of clients. Collectively -- with the exception of a few good guys -- they've killed, plundered, or betrayed a pretty big slice of the world.


Many PPL are saying same thing. pale

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Alisonfan on Tue Mar 10 2015, 21:53

melbert wrote:My understanding Way2 is that Amal wants her moved someplace to take better care of her due to her "illness".  It seems a lot of Amal's clients are "ill" and being treated unfairly...


Sick of being treated like violators, I to wonder why. With all that money and no way to spend.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by oldweston on Tue Mar 10 2015, 23:23

I feel like I'm sticking my neck out here but I have read these sentiments so frequently ... and I fear I may sound a bit like I'm lecturing. I don't mean too. The defence of human rights, if it is to have any meaning it all, must by definition apply to all. Everyone. If we say only those who are good or "wrongly prosecuted" or who are liked, who are attractive, who are innocent etc etc, are entitled to the protection of  this basic fundamental law then we cannot as a society say that we protect human rights. There are basic fundamental rights that most countries, and certain parts of the international community (however they may approach this in practise), have  recognized as being cornerstones of any system of justice - and a measure of our civilization and our humanity. The most difficult job of all is given to that person who stands in defence of the basic human rights of the most despicable, the most heinous criminal. When they do so, however,  they stand in defence of all of us. We can't pick and chose who will be accorded fundamental human rights. Because if we do how do we decide who shall choose who is entitled to the protection of their basic human rights? Not me. Not you. But someone will. A robust justice system requires that the best defence possible is always accorded to those we most despise. This is never more important than when the actor is the state - this defence is the balance against the power of the state, to deprive individuals of liberty and life never mind other unspeakable acts. I have always liked George Clooney. He is very cool and I have always liked the way he uses his celebrity for good. His wife is amazing - and she is doing an extremely important job that the vast majority of people run from as fast as their legs will carry them. This is what a Human Rights lawyer does. He or she defends all of us from tryanny and the abuse of power. Ok - I lectured. I'm sorry.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Joanna on Tue Mar 10 2015, 23:33

No oldweston you don't need to say sorry.
I don't consider your very clear explanation as 
a lecture.
While I always felt I understood the basics
 of "everyone deserves a defence in law"
I now understand it more fully, thanks to your
very precise and logical explanation.
So thank you.  flower

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by oldweston on Tue Mar 10 2015, 23:41

flower Thank you Joanna. That is kind of you. And makes me feel better.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Mar 11 2015, 00:14

I absolutely agree with what you have said oldweston. 100%. Thanks for your most eloquent thoughts.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Mar 11 2015, 01:19

A quote from a well-known international barrister who's married to a guy we've heard of........

'Even political enemies have human rights'

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Wed Mar 11 2015, 01:25

I'm not going to lecture, either. I've said how I feel about the universal application of the "innocent until proven guilty" tenet. But what I haven't said, mostly because I know nobody here would agree with me, is that (in my opinion, of course), (1) some societies are not evolved enough and don't have the historical cultural experience to handle a fully 'democratic' judicial system, and (2) it's hypocritical to operate in tyrannical and despotic forms of "government" and then apply rules of equal representation when the tyrants and despots get in trouble.

I understand that everyone has the right to mount a defense. What I have a quarrel with is the insistence that everyone is entitled to that defense under a universal system that pretends that the playing field for all defendants is level, when it most certainly is not and has never been.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by jusquatoi2014 on Wed Mar 11 2015, 03:09

Completely agree with what Way2 has said above. The playing field is not and has never been level. What's striking is how the very people who do not believe in (and certainly not act on) that tenet often seeks protection under it when it is convenient for them.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Mar 11 2015, 03:19

Totally understand. 

The problem is who is to decide who is worthy and who isn't..........

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by jusquatoi2014 on Wed Mar 11 2015, 03:30

That's the key question, right? Everyone is part of that decision process, proactively or passively, consciously or unconsciously, with a goal to benefit others or oneself ...

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by LornaDoone on Wed Mar 11 2015, 04:39

jusquatoi2014 wrote:Completely agree with what Way2 has said above. The playing field is not and has never been level. What's striking is how the very people who do not believe in (and certainly not act on) that tenet often seeks protection under it when it is convenient for them.

Guess that's the crux of the problem people are having with Amal and her defense of this woman.

She didn't give a shit about her people when she was squandering the money, why should anyone give a shit about the predicament in which she finds herself?

I guess if Amal ever took on the defense of a pedophile to obtain his/her release I would definitely go to the dark side and lose all respect for her.  In my opinion, there are some crimes that are so egregious that no explanation would have any effect on me.  IMO There are some crimes where the perpetrator just should be locked up and we throw away the key.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Katiedot on Wed Mar 11 2015, 10:10

Way2Old4Dis wrote:What I have a quarrel with is the insistence that everyone is entitled to that defense under a universal system that pretends that the playing field for all defendants is level, when it most certainly is not and has never been.
jusquatoi2014 wrote: The playing field is not and has never been level. What's striking is how the very people who do not believe in (and certainly not act on) that tenet often seeks protection under it when it is convenient for them.
The answer to this is that the playing field will never be level until there's a universal system that acts as though the playing field is level. There's no difference between a bad person who does wrong and a good person who does wrong. In other words: it's just as wrong for bad people to deny justice to innocents as it is for innocents to deny justice to bad people. Both are denying justice. If you do wrong, you do wrong.

If you live in a country where it's accepted that there's one rule for some people and other rules for the rest (as I do), the concept of justice and legality is nothing. It leads to corruption and a playing field that can never be level. Countries such as the US or UK which as least theoretically insist that justice is the same for all (and yes, we're all aware of the many exceptions to this, but in general it exists) are fully functional and they can remain fully functional only as long as they stick to that rule: justice is blind and it's the same for everyone, whether innocent or guilty. The minute you step away from this ideal you walk into a situation where you make it possible for the Arroyos of this world to gain power because you've agreed to the concept that justice doesn't have to fair and it can be exclusively only for some people.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by jusquatoi2014 on Wed Mar 11 2015, 10:24

Agree, Katiedot, theoretically.  But perhaps no one can deny that, sometimes with the assistance of smart lawyers in twisting interpretation and application of laws (substantive and/or procedural), some bad guys did get away.  There is always a difference between good faith application of laws and use of laws to disguise injustice or mislead people.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by jusquatoi2014 on Wed Mar 11 2015, 10:31

Just one more note and I'll shut up: justice is never blind, otherwise we wouldn't have had those positive legal/social changes we enjoy today.  Justice is only blind if we take a formalistic view of it.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Katiedot on Wed Mar 11 2015, 11:20

jusquatoi2014 wrote:Agree, Katiedot, theoretically.  But perhaps no one can deny that, sometimes with the assistance of smart lawyers in twisting interpretation and application of laws (substantive and/or procedural), some bad guys did get away.  There is always a difference between good faith application of laws and use of laws to disguise injustice or mislead people.
Totally agree with you, but that's beside the point. The point being the laws exist. That they are sometimes used, abused and exploited is a downside of having justice in the first place - it isn't justice if you have different laws for different people.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Wed Mar 11 2015, 11:27

Let me be clear. I wholeheartedly believe in the 'western' judicial system. I wouldn't have it any other way. But our judicial system is appropriate for a democratic society, or more precisely, a republic form of government. A judicial system does not exist in a societal vacuum. I think a fully representative judicial system has to evolve with the culture.

That said, I also believe -- again -- that each and every defendant has the right to due process. What I'm saying is that 'due process' does not have to look the same the world over and at every point in time. People who run countries are held to a different standard than the citizens of that country. That's true, even in the US and UK. Otherwise, for example, there would be no need for Ethics Commissions, or requirements like Presidents putting their holdings in blind trusts. We assume that government officials are subjected to opportunities of, to put it mildly, conflicts of interests with the people they govern. And I think the judicial process should reflect that. If someone violates the rights of the people by virtue of their position in government, I see nothing wrong with the burden of proof falling to them to prove they didn't violate the will and well-being of the people, as opposed to 'the people' having to prove that they did.

International courts are fairly useless political entities, IMO, but their very existence implies that there is an acknowledgement of the need for different levels of due process because of the uneven playing field.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Alisonfan on Wed Mar 11 2015, 11:30

Everything is 50/50, yes? Even representation and how many bad guys you defend. Yes?  You tell me, is it left up to few not many ppl to do so much dirty work?

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Mar 11 2015, 13:27

So is it the belief by some here that because Arroyo has been charged and is "probably guilty" (although she has not gone to trial and has not been convicted yet) that she should be denied her human rights.  From written accounts here Amal Clooney was looking at this case since 2013 and even visited the former Phillipines President to assess her condition.  Clooney determined that Arroyo's detention was in violation of her human rights and decided to bring it to the attention of UN.

Did Amal make an inaccurate assessment of this case?  Should she not have taken this case because this woman doesn't deserve to have her basic human rights protected?  Does Amal Clooney taking this case put her legal image in a negative light, especially since she has defended other nefarious clients?  Are her motives being challenged?  I would just like to better understand why some here think she should not be taking this case.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Wed Mar 11 2015, 18:15

Speaking for myself only...

First of all, the simple fact that Amal Clooney makes an assessment and a decision to defend an accused is not de facto proof that the case has validity or merit from the defendant's position. Unless I missed something, her legal opinion is still just that, and carries no more weight than any other legal professional's.

She can, of course, take any case she wants and is asked to do. There is an established system in which these cases operate. My point is that I think the application of "innocent until proven guilty" is inappropriate in some instances, and those cases warrant a more layered judicial process that is not now provided by either traditional courts or by international tribunals and such.

As for Amal's image, I'm assuming that the growing number of cases she has taken on means she's not suffering professionally. Public perception is another thing. It seems that when there is an instance of a mass murderer detained for his crimes, she chooses to advocate for the murderer rather than on behalf of the murdered. An official accused of stealing hundreds of millions from the national treasury gets her rights championed, and the people who are doing without basic needs and services because that money is gone are essentially placed on the side of those 'injuring' the accused -- because if it's The People vs The Accused, and The Accused says her rights are being trampled, then by extension The People are trampling them. 

Amal Clooney thinks that the right thing to do to uphold the integrity of the judicial system, in more instances than not, is to place herself and her apparently considerable skills on the side against The People. That's her prerogative. I happen to think that she's established an unfortunate pattern in this regard, and because I can only go by what I see, yes, I do question her motives. Not in the sense that she's a champion of corruption; more a puzzle as to the origin of her decisions, besides a staunch belief that "everybody deserves it."

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by PigPen on Wed Mar 11 2015, 19:30

Well said Way 2

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Mar 11 2015, 19:33

Way2, our perceptions of her role as a human rights advocate definitely differ.  I do appreciate your thoughts.  I get what you're saying.  Many people would agree with you.

Amal's legal opinion, valid or not will be determined by the UN.  I suspect she's done her homework on this case and she has worked with the UN on other cases. I think she knows what she has to prove to move forward with the case.  So we shall see.

Clooney is defending Arroyo only in the case of her rights being violated by the Phillipine government.  Since Arroyo hasnt been judicially tried yet she still has certain basic rights allotted her. Or at least she should since she has yet to be found guilty. She is not defending Arroyo in the case the government brought against her re the stealing of lottery funds.  Amal may even think the former president is guilty from any evidence she has studied. But that's not what's at issue in this instance. 

Amal has a number of cases she is currently working on that we don't even know about.  Some we have spoken about on COH.  There is not necessarily a preponderance of cases like the Arroyo case.  I know her involvement in the Assange case and the al-Senussi case are high profile and generate more headlines and sensational reactions.  So the handful we do know about gives some people pause as to her motives.  

She's doing her job that's the way I see it.  She has chosen a mix of different clients with different scenarios.
I don't question her integrity or motives except to do the best she can for the sake of her clients.  I get a sense of her being a human rights advocate in the purist sense (of course I could be wrong).  I do think she believes that every person, regardless of their actions, is entitled to basic human rights.  That's a hard pill to swallow for many people. 

I'm not trying to change your opinion.  Just wanted to present another point of view.

As an aside I would love to sit in on her lectures at Columbia to get a sense of her views on human rights justice in our global society.

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Re: Amal Alamuddin and her work

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