Written by: Ali Assad
Amal Alamuddin Clooney has been twirling her fingers around US foreign policy in Maldives.
Like most human rights activists’ wildest dreams, Amal’s resume reads working for the UN, defending ambassadors and heads of states.
The term “human rights lawyer” is sometimes misunderstood by the general public to mean an “angel.” Her list of clients whose human rights violations make it clear that she is their defense lawyer, not prosecutor. Questionable characters like the King of Bahrain, Abdullah al Senussi and Mohamed Nasheed, shadows her illusion of an innocent image.
She served as Bahraini King Hasan bin Isa al Khalifa’s legal advisor. Yet in this context, Alamuddin worked not on behalf of the violated but the violator, advising the King on human rights, presumably in order to absolve him of as much responsibility as possible, as any good defense lawyer does. Bahraini security services are accused of crushing the 2011 Bahraini protesters using excessive force, killing many civilians, and wounding and jailing thousands. The Bassiouni Commission itself found that people had been tortured to death in police custody.
Abdullah al Senussi, another one of Clooney’s clients, served as Muammar Gaddafi’s intelligence chief and was captured in Libya in 2011. The International Criminal Court charged him with crimes against humanity in 2011 for his role in Gaddafi’s brutal government as well as the Lockerbie bombing.
In Maldives, she chose to defend the democracy advocate turned dictator President Mohamed Nasheed. Notorious for his human rights violations. Literary speaking Nasheed’s 3 years’ reign of atrocities is far worse than the 30-year authoritarian rule of President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. Corruption, suppression of press, arbitrary arrests, arbitrary detention, kidnapping and crackdown on protesters peaked during Nasheed’s regime. Not to mention his coalition partner Adhaalath Party or more popularly known as the Islamist Party. During Nasheed’s Presidency they were given the Islamic Affairs Ministry and a say within the Education Ministry! The radical indoctrination that went to schools and mosques were the same! From a fatwa by Islamic Ministry, one cannot hold any party or concert in Male’ during Nasheed’s tenure! The result was very obvious, radicalization of the youth in the Maldives. The current administration had to deal with the consequences of his blunder. And who is putting the blame on the current government of radicalization of the youth? Non-other than Ms. Clooney. What a travesty!
Amal stepped into the limelight when she became involved with superstar actor and famous bachelor George Clooney. The couple was married in Venice, Italy, in September 2014 and shortly thereafter moved to a multimillion dollar estate built on a small island in the Thames in London
What makes a great Human Rights activists? Wearing a £925 red Dolce & Gabbana dress, a £625 Jimmy Choo bag on the hand and huge sunglasses worth more than the annual income of a poor family.
The UN’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council announced that Amal would serve on a three-member commission of inquiry looking into possible violations of the rules of war during the Israeli offensive against Hamas. But hours later Clooney’s Hollywood agent, issued a statement on Amal’s behalf saying she had declined the post because she was too busy.
When she arrived in Maldives, Amal Clooney looked as though she was strolling on the Red Carpet of a Hollywood event rather than on her way to meet a jailed convict Nasheed. Maldivian government allowed and bend rules for Amal to visit Nasheed, though foreign lawyers have to be registered in Maldives to advocate. She didn’t had the decency to even acknowledge the security and usual Maldivian hospitality that was extended to her, instead, she accused that Nasheed’s conversations were ‘tapped’ in his prison, that was the best she could come up with. She failed to share that Nasheed was kept in a 2-bedroom apartment with his own garden, 20 meters away from the beach!
Of course, there are plenty of clever lawyers out there, many with considerably more impressive human rights records than Amal Clooney, but they are not married to a Hollywood heart-throb called George Clooney, hence, the fees she commands on such work is in millions.
The only reason Amal gets high-profile cases is because of the publicity to their case, as she is married to George Clooney. It is nothing more than an advertising gimmick. Lets not talk about the undisclosed ‘fee’ Ms. Clooney received from Nasheed for her work.
Therefore, it is high time that people like the US Ambassador to Maldives, Atul Keshap to stop releasing Hollywood style stories fed by a celebrity. The time has come to premier a balanced report based on actual facts on the ground rather than releasing fiction. One can understand why US Ambassador to Maldives wants to take snaps with Amal Alamuddin Clooney. But I wonder how the new US President Trump would see it. President Trump came on a platform to free US foreign policies from these celebrities endorsed views. President Trump wants to remove the lobbyists dictating US foreign policies. But the sad reality is that some are still stuck with their old habits.