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Amal Clooney "Threatened With Arrest" In Egypt

The international human rights lawyer has angered officials in Cairo by identifying several flaws within the Egyptian judicial system.

Posted on January 3, 2015, at 3:26 p.m. ET

Amal Clooney "risked arrest" in Egypt after she identified major flaws within the country's judicial system, the British human rights lawyer said.

Pool / Getty Images

In an interview with the Guardian published Saturday, Clooney said a report she helped compile for the International Bar Association in Feb. 2014 was so controversial in Egypt she had been told she would be arrested if she tried to publicly present her findings in the country.

"When I went to launch the report, first of all they stopped us from doing it in Cairo," Clooney told the Guardian. "They said: 'Does the report criticise the army, the judiciary, or the government?' We said: 'Well, yes.' They said: 'Well then, you're risking arrest.'"

Clooney's report, entitled "Separating Law and Politics: Challenges to the Independence of Judges and Prosecutors in Egypt," called for stricter divisions between politics and the judiciary in Egypt.

The human rights barrister, who married actor George Clooney in Sept. 2014, is now part of the legal team representing three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt for more than a year on trumped-up charges of supporting the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

AP Heba Elkholy

Clooney and the other lawyers had a victory earlier this week, when a judge ordered a retrial for the trio.

However, Clooney told the newspaper she is concerned the men will not receive a fair new hearing in Egypt, given the problems her earlier report highlighted.

"If the idea is: well, there were errors and now there's going to be a retrial, but then the retrial operates on the same basis as the original one, that doesn't really mean much," Clooney said.