So far, 2019 has been rolling exciting news and headline after headline about the accomplishments of Lebanese women. From commandeering the skies to occupying 4 new ministerial positions, and from Nadine Labaki's many triumphs to Dr. Najat Saliba's international recognition, Lebanese women have been kicking ass at every curb.
The latest news is of prominent human rights' lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney who was just awarded an esteemed title of a global scale.
This Friday, April 5th, Amal Alamuddin-Clooney was a guest at a conference on press freedom and media law hosted by Jeremy Hunt, the UK's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
During the conference, Hunt appointed Amal as an ambassador of free press in the world and joined her in forming a celebrated panel of legal practitioners on media freedom. Her full title is The Foreign Secretary’s Special Envoy on Media Freedom and Co-Chair of the High Level Panel of Legal Experts.
Together, the UK minister and media freedom's Special Envoy Amal will establish a panel of legal experts to counter draconian laws that hinder journalists from going about their work in conveying truthful news.
Amal's top-level tasks include examining legal policies to improve media freedom in the world by advising governments on legal mechanisms, supporting the repeal of outdated and draconian laws, ensuring that existing laws and international obligations are enforced, and promoting model legislation to protect a vibrant free press.
On the subject, Foreign Minister Hunt said, "Amal Clooney’s leading work on human rights means she is ideally placed to ensure this campaign has real impact for journalists and the free societies who depend on their work. She will use her expertise to chair a panel comprising the world’s best legal minds to develop and promote legal mechanisms to prevent and reverse media abuses."
In turn, the international human rights lawyer replied, "I am honoured... Through my legal work defending journalists, I have seen first-hand how journalists are targeted and jailed in order to silence them and prevent the freedom of the press (...) It has never been so dangerous to report the news... Those who have a pen in their hands should not feel a noose around their necks."
With 99 killed, 348 detained and 60 taken hostage, 2018 was the deadliest recorded year for journalists. The global campaign on media freedom aims to shine a spotlight on media abuses and reverse the trend of violence against journalists.
Amal's appointment comes ahead of the International Conference on Media Freedom to be held in the United Kingdom on the 10th of July and co-hosted with the Canadian Government.
The conference will bring together leaders from around the world to share good practice on media freedom, and seek consensus behind the measures that can be taken to improve the protection of journalists.
Needless to say, we are so proud of Amal and the paramount work that she is doing.