U.S. actor George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin arrive at Venice city hall for a civil ceremony to formalize their wedding
Hollywood actor George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin have got married again in Venice, Italy. This time they got married in a civil ceremony. Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Amal Alamuddin, now known as Amal Clooney, was threatened with arrest by Egyptian authorities last year. The shocking revelations came from the 36-year-old lawyer herself in an interview with The Guardian.

She revealed that in February last year, she had pointed out some major flaws in the judicial system of Egypt. When she and her team went to launch the report, they were asked categorically whether the report anywhere criticises the country's police or judiciary. The concerned officials found the report so controversial that they directly threatened her and her team with arrest.

"They said: 'Does the report criticise the army, the judiciary, or the government?'", recalls the young lawyer. "We said: 'Well, yes.' They said: 'Well then, you're risking arrest.'" The report had raised some serious flaws and loopholes in the judiciary system of Egypt, as well as claims that the system is not as independent as it could be. It had also aimed to shed light on the prevalent practice in Egypt that allows the country's officials to handpick the judge assigned to an individual case.

The revelations by Clooney came at a time when a retrial has been granted to Australian journalist Peter Greste and his Al Jazeera colleague, Baher Mohamed, and her client Mohamed Fahmy. As reported by Sydney Morning Herald, the trio was found guilty of collaborating with the now banned Muslim Brotherhood group and circulating false news damaging Egypt's reputation. They have been imprisoned for a year prior to their retrial, and were sentenced to seven to ten years of rigorous imprisonment by another judge.

This move by the Egyptian court was condemned worldwide as the three are award-winning professional journalists. Egypt and Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, have a strained relationship for a very long time. Al Jazeera has been reportedly supportive of Muslim Brotherhood group, which is now banned in Egypt and listed as a terrorist organisation.

The announcement of the retrial of the case has seen mixed responses. The families of the detainees have welcomed the decision as a positive step, but Clooney raised serious concern over the fate of Fahmy. "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," shared Clooney in the interview.

Fahmy and Greste still have an option of deportation to their home countries, Canada and Australia, respectively, while the third detainee, Mohamed, has to rely on the Egyptian court's processes for his future.

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