Amal Clooney threatened with arrest over report on Egypt's judicial system

Human Rights lawyer Amal Clooney compiled a report on Egypt's judicial system. Credit: Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has said she was threatened with arrest when trying to publish a report into Egypt's judicial system.

Mrs Clooney, who compiled the report for the International Bar Association before acting for one of three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in the country, told the Guardian she recommended Egypt's judiciary be more independent of the government.

The British-based barrister said: "When I went to launch the report, first of all they stopped us from doing it in Cairo.

"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'."

Three Al Jazeera journalists have been granted a retrial after an Egyptian court said their original trial was flawed but they are still in prison after being denied bail.

Mrs Clooney said the men were victims of a system where officials could hand-pick judges.

"We've seen the results of that in this particular case where you had a hand-picked panel led by a judge who is known for dispensing brutal verdicts. And this one is no different," she said.